Message to the National Bureau of Investigation at Its Flag-Raising Ceremony

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Director Dante Gierran, mga namumuno sa NBI, mga kawani ng Bureau, magandang umaga sa ating lahat. For the first time in many years, I’m with a friendly National Bureau of Investigation.

I have an amusing story to tell.  When I was a young kid of six, probably seven years of age, I have always dreamt of becoming an NBI agent. From numerous life-threatening exploits narrated by my late grandfather, who fought the Spaniards at a very young age as a Katipunero in our historic province of Cavite, I became instantly fascinated by people whose bread and butter was risking their lives to fight for their country.

The moment I first set my bare foot at the soil of our barrio’s one and only elementary school, my mind was already set on becoming a lawyer someday, not to prosecute or defend litigants in the judicial process but to simply become a regular agent of the National Bureau of Investigation.

After graduating from high school I took up AB Political Science preparatory to acquiring a law degree. In a strange twist of fate, I did not become a lawyer nor an NBI agent. A high school classmate asked me to accompany him to apply and take the entrance examination for admission to the Philippine Military Academy. I ended up taking the examination myself. He failed, I passed.

I did not see him after that, until four years after I graduated from the PMA, when as a young Constabulary officer assigned with the PC Metrocom, I arrested him for some violation of the Revised Penal Code. I did become a law enforcement agent, all right, and again as fate would have it, I became chief of the Philippine National Police.

As a former police operative myself, I completely relate to how law enforcers perform their duties in the face of tremendous threats every single day.

I remember whenever I conducted pre-operation briefings with my men prior to jump-off, especially in connection with kidnap-for-ransom rescue operations, I would always remind my men this: When you order your quarries to surrender and you see barrels of their guns instead of raised arms, don’t hesitate. Shoot, stupid. Higit na mas mainam na buhay kayo kahit may hinaharap na kaso, kaysa naman nakahiga sa loob ng kabaong at pinaguusapan na parang natutulog lamang

Sa pelikula lamang nangyayari yung eksenang nagpapagulong-gulong muna ang bida, bago gaganti ng putok na tila hindi tinatablan at di tatamaan ng bala.

Truth is, transgressors of law and order — those who prey on innocent lives and feed on fear – exist beyond box-office Filipino movies.

Against these enemies of peace and security, life and liberty, you stand ground on a daily basis, at the expense of your lives, in the service of our nation.

And time and again, we have lost many honorable men and women who had fallen beyond the call of duty in the name of safety and security of our people, most of whom we do not even know or met in our lifetime. At this point, I would like to give honor to the heroes of the Bureau, to our NBI agents, for their heroism and gallantry.

Hence, let us recall some of the NBI heroes whose names are etched in perpetuity onto the black marble walls of the Bureau’s memorial marker.

Allow me also to give my snappy salute to our trustworthy and fearless NBI agents and employees present here today who put their lives in everyday danger to protect our countrymen.

To the men and women of the National Bureau of Investigation, I trust that you will remain true to your mission to serve the ends of truth and justice founded on the fine ideals of Nobility, Bravery, Integrity.

Taking one’s oath as a member of the NBI means leaving behind your life of comfort and ease, of peace and tranquility. Instead, you wake up every morning and risk your lives in the conduct of your duty. Between our people and the social ills of society, you are part of our nation’s thin line of defense.

Unfortunately, the NBI represents a very thin line with only 1,480 men and women in permanent positions to serve a population of over 100 million Filipinos. Nangangahulugan lamang ito na sa isang daang milyong Pilipino, ang bawa’t tauhan ng NBI, ang bawat isa sa inyo, ay nagsisilbi sa mahigit 67,000 Pilipino.

With the enormous task on your shoulders, I firmly believe that it is but appropriate to provide you with the necessary resources in order to boost the Bureau’s capacity to undertake expanded investigative and detective work.

In all humility, in my capacity as a legislator, I have consistently supported the Bureau by ensuring that its budgetary allocation is enough to boost its law enforcement assets and capabilities.

As the Vice Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance in this present Congress, I have proposed an additional funding amounting to P20 million for the NBI’s Confidential Expenses for the years 2017 and 2018.

Nakakagalak na isipin na ang ating mga suporta na dagdag budget ng NBI ay hindi nasasayang sa ilalim ng pamumuno ni Director Dante Gierran. Patunay na rito ang pagtaas ng kalidad ng intelligence work at investigative cases ng ahensya sa nagdaang taon.

And numbers do not lie. Last year, we have seen the highly significant accomplishments of the NBI through the conduct of various operations characterized by intensified campaign against all forms of criminality, one of such is the seizure of large volume of methamphetamine hydrochloride, commonly known as shabu, approximately 1,452 kilos with an estimated street value of more than P10 billion.

In addition, the agents of the NBI Task Force Against Illegal Drugs (NBI-TFAID) were also able to confiscate 1,110 liters of liquid shabu, which translated to a total volume of about 550 kilos when dried up.

With the additional budgetary allocation, I am sure that the NBI is more than ready to implement counter-intelligence programs and extensive nationwide background checks of target subjects, parallel to our renewed drive against graft and corruption.

Let me end my short message by leaving you with a quotation from Dr. Martin Luther King, which best describes each member of this institution.

He said: “Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals.”

Maraming salamat sa inyong lahat at mabuhay ang National Bureau of Investigation!