Estrada wants stiffer sanctions vs erring NBI officers, officials

(MALAYA) SEN. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada yesterday called on higher authorities to impose stiffer sanctions against officers and officials of the National Bureau of Investigation after a drug suspect managed to sneak in and out of his detention facility reportedly with the help of bureau insiders.

In a statement, Estrada said the case of Jose Adrian “Jad” Dera is a black eye to the NBI leadership that needs to be properly addressed to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

“Heads should roll indeed. The incident is a blow to the NBI as it destroys the agency’s image. It is more alarming to note that there is an instance of this nature – that a high-profile detainee was able to sneak out of its facility,” Estrada said.

Dera, a co-accused of former Sen. Leila de Lima in one of her drug cases, was arrested past midnight last June 21 along with six NBI security officers while returning to the bureau’s compound in Manila after a supposed night out.

Seized from the group were firearms, cash, and other items.

Department of Justice spokesman Mico Clavano said he received “confidential information” that Dera was out of his detention facility, prompting him to inform the NBI, which in turn created a task force to pounce on Dera and his escorts.

Clavano said there was clear connivance between the NBI security officers and “certain people in detention” in its jail facilities.

An investigation is ongoing to determine the scope of the illegal scheme and who among the NBI officials were involved.

Clavano said the DOJ is also eyeing to transfer Dera to another detention facility, saying the latter has spent “hundreds of thousands” in cash to pay for several privileges in the NBI facility.

Estrada said while the security officers involved in Dera’s case have been sanctioned, he “will leave it to the DOJ” to impose the appropriate punishments on other officers and officials who may be found remiss from their jobs.

“I will leave it to the DOJ to decide whether a mere reshuffling of NBI personnel would suffice after going after those involved in the incident or a more severe action should be taken,” Estrada said.

“But definitely, heads should roll,” he added.

Estrada issued the statement after a group of lawyers earlier urged NBI Director Medardo de Lemos to quit out of “delicadeza.”