MANILA — Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla has appointed a new officer-in-charge for the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
In a July 1, 2022 department order, Remulla designated NBI deputy director Medardo De Lemos as the new officer-in-charge, being the “next-in-rank and most senior official” at the bureau.
“The OIC shall perform and discharge the duties and responsibilities of the office until 31 July 2022 or until a replacement has been appointed or designated, whichever comes first,” the order said, which was to take effect immediately.
De Lemos, a lawyer and a long-time NBI career official, also served as officer-in-charge of the bureau under then justice secretary Leila de Lima in 2013.
He replaced Eric Distor, who was designated by former President Rodrigo Duterte as NBI OIC in February 2020.
In his order designating De Lemos as NBI OIC, Remulla cited the first memorandum circular issued by President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. on June 30, 2022, which declared certain positions in the departments, offices, agencies, and bureaus in the executive branch vacant.
Among the first actions taken by De Lemos was a meeting with Remulla on Monday.
They discussed the controversial and suspicious deaths of high-profile inmates at the New Bilibid Prison, lawyer Mico Clavano from the Office of the Justice Secretary told the media Tuesday.
The Bureau of Corrections said the inmates died of COVID-19 but the NBI Death Investigation Division filed murder complaints with the DOJ against 22 officers of the National Capital Region Police Office.
None was filed against BuCor officials even if the deaths took place inside BuCor premises.
“SOJ wanted to validate the facts already presented but would like to inquire more into the incident,” Clavano said in a message exchange.
During the meeting, Remulla expressed his “stern desire to hold all those involved accountable,” Clavano added.