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National Bureau of Investigation (Philippines)

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November 13, 1936

National Bureau of Investigation (Philippines)

Preceding agency
Bureau of Investigation

Government of the Philippines

Taft Avenue, Ermita, Manila, Philippines

Nobility Bravery Integrity Efficient law enforcement in the pursuit of truth and justice.

Agency executive
Dante Gierran, Director

The National Bureau of Investigation (Filipino: Pambansang Kawanihan ng Pagsisiyasat, abbreviated as NBI or PKP) is an agency of the Philippine government under the Department of Justice, responsible for handling and solving major high-profile cases that are in the interest of the nation.



The Bureau of Investigation, later renamed the National Bureau of Investigation, came into existence on 19 June 1947, the date Republic Act 157 was approved. Its history retroacts to 13 November 1936, when a Division of Investigation (DI) under the Department of Justice was created with the enactment of Commonwealth Act No. 181 by the First National Assembly. Sec. 1, C.A. No. 181 provides:

"A Division of Investigation under the Department of Justice is hereby created. It shall be composed of such personnel as may be necessary, in the discretion of the Secretary of Justice, and its duties shall be to help in the detection and prosecution of crimes; to acquire, collect, classify and preserve criminal identification records; and to obtain information on all matters affecting the public interest."

The DI was the brainchild of the late Commonwealth President Manuel L. Quezon and the then Secretary of Justice José Yulo. A veteran American police officer, Capt. Thomas Duggan of the New York Police Department (NYPD) and the only Filipino member of the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Flaviano Guerreo, were hired by the Philippine Government to organize the Division of Investigation of the Department of Justice.

The formation of the DI generated considerable public interest wherein more than 3,000 applied for the initial 48 positions of NBI Agents. Physical and medical examinations were conducted by doctors of the Philippine General Hospital and San Lazaro Hospital. Of the 3,000 applicants, only 150 were allowed to take the mental test and of this number, less than 100 passed, and after the screening, 48 were certified for employment. Of these successful candidates, only 45 actually accepted appointments as Agents.

The DI was then formally organized in 1937 and was composed of forty-five (45) Agents and approximately 100 officials and employees. These included lawyers, doctors, chemists, fingerprint technicians, photographers, research assistants, clerks, stenographers, janitors and messengers. The DI office operated in Manila, where its Agents and technical personnel were dispatched to the provinces from time to time to investigate crimes of public interest or when the necessity arose.

The DI operation was suspended upon the surrender of the Commonwealth Government to the occupying Japanese forces during World War II. The Japanese however revived the DI and allowed it to function as a Division under the Department of Justice until the establishment of the Japanese puppet Philippine Republic of President José P. Laurel. During the Laurel administration, the DI was merged with the Secret Service Division of the Metropolitan Constabulary (Manila Police Department or MPD) and the Intelligence Unit of the Japanese run Philippine Constabulary.

Upon the liberation of the Philippines by combined Filipino and American forces in 1945, the DI was not immediately reorganized since most of its original members were seconded in the service of the United States Army Counterintelligence Corps (CIC). After the surrender of Japan in August 1945, the DI was reactivated and the original members were called back to the service. The reactivated DI started with no records or equipments, most of which were systematically destroyed by DI personnel for security reasons in order to prevent classified documents and equipment from falling into the hands of the Japanese.

In 1947, as the Philippines struggled to recover from the ravages of war, criminality in all its forms increased dramatically straining the meager resources of the newly reorganized police service in combating effectively sophisticated organized crime groups and the solution of complex crimes. Due to the increase of lawlessness in the land, DI personnel agitated for the conversion of the Division of Investigation into a Bureau, believing that an enlarged, highly professional and better equipped Bureau similar to that of the American Federal Bureau of Investigation was needed to effectively fight organized crime groups and solve crimes of a complex nature.

In response, congress filed House Bill No. 1162, from which Republic Act No. 157 originated. R.A. 157 was approved by Congress and enacted into law on 19 June 1947. Thus was born the Bureau of Investigation. For all intents and purposes, the Bureau of Investigation (BI) was patterned after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in organization, functions and objectives. The FBI also evolved into its present size from humble beginnings as a division of the United States Department of Justice. The Bureau of Investigation created under R.A. 157 was later renamed the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) by virtue of Executive Order No. 94, issued on 4 October 1947, by the late President Manuel A. Roxas.


The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is a line agency under the Department of Justice and serves as the premier investigative agency of government. The agency director is a Presidential appointee and serves under the trust and confidence of the President and the Secretary of Justice (SOJ).

The management/position structure of the NBI are as follows:

Director (agency head); Assistant Director (second-in-command); Deputy Director Administrative Services (DDAS); Deputy Director Special Investigative Services (DDSIS); Deputy Director Regional Operations Services (DDROS); Deputy Director Intelligence Service (DDIS); Deputy Director Technical Services (DDTS); Deputy Director Comptroller Services (DDCS); Regional Director (RD); Assistant Regional Director (ARD); Agent-in-Charge, District Office (AIC, DO); Executive Officer, District Office (Ex-O, DO); Division Chief; Executive Officer; Section Chief;

Functions of the NBI

A. Under R.A. No. 157

1. Undertake investigation of crimes and other offenses against the laws of the Philippines, upon its own initiative and as public interest may require;

2. To render assistance, whenever properly requested in the investigation or detection of crimes and other offenses;

3. To act as a national clearing house of criminal and other information for the benefit use of all prosecuting and law enforcement entities of the Philippines; identification records of identifying marks, characteristics, and ownership or possession of all firearms as well as of test bullets fired therefrom;

4. To give technical aid to all prosecuting and law enforcement officers and entities of the government as well as the courts that may request its services;

5. To extend its services, whenever properly requested in the investigation of cases of administrative or civil in nature in which the government is interested;

6. To establish and maintain an up-to-date scientific crime laboratory and to conduct researches in furtherance of scientific knowledge in criminal investigation;

7. To perform such other related functions as the Minister (Secretary since 1987) of Justice may assign from time to time.

B. Under Letter of Instructions (LOI) No. 20

-The National Bureau of Investigation shall, among others, be responsible for the efficient detection and investigation of crimes and other offenses against the laws of the Philippines, upon its own initiative and as public interest may require, rendering assistance, whenever properly requested in the investigation or detection of crimes and other offenses; and coordinating with other national and local police agencies in the maintenance of peace and order.

C. Under Letter of Instructions (LOI) No. 784 dated 20 December 1978, to quote in part: "(2) The Criminal Investigative Service and the National Bureau of Investigation shall, in addition to the functions provided by law, be the investigation arm of the Tanodbayan."


The present day NBI is a government entity that is civilian in character, and national in scope which is under the Department of Justice. Its jurisdiction are:

A. Territorial Jurisdiction

The territorial jurisdiction of the Bureau is national in scope and its power to investigate cases extends to all municipalities, cities and provinces of the entire Philippine Archipelago.

B. Case Jurisdiction

The Bureau has investigative jurisdiction over (1) criminal cases, upon its own initiative and as public interest may require; (2) administrative and civil cases in which the government is interested whenever properly requested. (R.A. No. 157)

NBI Directors

A list of NBI heads since the founding in 13 November 1936:

  • 1936 – 1939 Capt. Thomas Duggan (Former Police Officer, NYPD, Head of the Division of Investigation during its formative years)
  • 1939 – 1941 Juan Pardo De Tavera
  • 1941 – 1945 None (Time of Japanese Occupation)
  • 1946 – 1950 Juan Pardo De Tavera (First Director of the newly renamed and reorganized National Bureau of Investigation)
  • 1951 – 1954 Gen. Alberto Ramos
  • 1954 Maj. Jose Crisol
  • 1954 Col. Leoncio Tan
  • 1954 – 1966 Col. Jose G. Lukban
  • 1966 Serafin Fausto (OIC)
  • 1967 – 1986 Jolly R. Bugarin
  • 1986 – 1989 Jesus Antonio M. Carpio
  • 1989 – 1992 Gen. Alfredo S. Lim
  • 1992 – 1995 Epimaco Velasco(+)
  • 1995 Antonio D. Aragon(+)
  • 1995 – 1996 Mariano M. Mison
  • 1996 – 1999 Santiago Y. Toledo(+)
  • 1999 – 2000 Federico M. Opinion(+)
  • 2000 – January 2001 Carlos S. Caabay (OIC)
  • 2001 – 2005 Gen. Reynaldo G. Wycoco(+)
  • 2005 – 2010 Nestor M. Mantaring(+)
  • 2010 – 2012 Magtanggol B. Gatdula
  • 2012 – 2013 Nonnatus Caesar R. Rojas
  • September 2013 – 15 January 2014 Medardo G. De Lemos (OIC)
  • 16 January 2014 – 30 June 2016 Virgilio L. Mendez
  • July 1 2016 - Present Dante Gierran
  • Region 1

  • Ilocos Regional Office (IRO) – San Fernando City, La Union
  • Dagupan District Office (DADO) – Dagupan City, Pangasinan
  • Laoag District Office (LADO) – Laoag City, Ilocos Norte
  • Vigan District Office (VIDO) – Vigan City, Ilocos Sur
  • Region 2

  • Cagayan Valley Regional Office (CAVRO) – Tuguegarao City, Cagayan
  • Isabela District Office (ISDO) – Ilagan, Isabela
  • Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR) – Baguio City, Benguet
  • Bayombong District Office (BAYDO) – Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya
  • Region 3

  • Central Luzon Regional Office (CELRO) – San Fernando, Pampanga
  • Bulacan District Office (BULDO) – Malolos, Bulacan
  • Cabanatuan District Office (CABDO) – Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija
  • Tarlac District Office (TARDO) – San Roque, Tarlac City, Tarlac
  • Olongapo District Office (OLDO) – Upper Kalaklan, Olongapo City, Zambales
  • Region 4

  • Southern Tagalog Regional Office (SOTRO) – Batangas City, Batangas
  • Lucena District Office (LUCDO) – Lucena City, Quezon
  • Puerto Princesa District Office (PUERDO) – Taft St., Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
  • Cavite District Office (CAVIDO) – Kaybagal, Tagaytay City, Cavite
  • Calapan District Office (CALDO) – Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro
  • Laguna District Office (LAGDO) – Sta. Rosa City, Laguna
  • Region 5

  • Bicol Regional Office (BRO) – Naga City
  • Legazpi District Office (LEGDO) – Legazpi City, Albay
  • Region 6

  • Western Visayas Regional Office (WEVRO) – Iloilo City
  • Negros Island Region

  • Bacolod District Office (BACDO) – Bacolod City
  • Dumaguete District Office (DUMDO) – Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental
  • Region 7

  • Central Visayas Regional Office (CEVRO) – Cebu City, Cebu
  • Bohol District Office (BOHDO) – Dao, Tagbilaran City, Bohol
  • Region 8

  • Eastern Visayas Regional Office (EVRO) – Tacloban City, Leyte
  • Samar District Office (SAMDO) – Catbalogan City, Samar
  • Region 9

  • Western Mindanao Regional Office (WEMRO) – Zamboanga City, Zamboanga del Sur
  • Dipolog District Office (DIPDO) – Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte
  • Pagadian District Office (PAGDO) – Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur
  • Region 10

  • Northern Mindanao Regional Office (NEMRO) – Cagayan de Oro City, Misamis Oriental
  • Iligan District Office (ILDO) – Iligan City, Lanao del Norte
  • Region 11

  • South Eastern Mindanao Regional Office (SEMRO) – Bajada, Davao City
  • Tagum District Office (TAGDO) – Visayan Village, Tagum City, Davao del Norte
  • Region 12

  • Central Eastern Mindanao Regional Office (CEMRO) – Cotabato City, Maguindanao
  • Sarangani District Office (SARDO) – Alabel, Sarangani
  • Region 13

  • Caraga Regional Office (CARAGA) – Butuan City, Agusan del Norte
  • The Intelligence Service, NBI

    The Intelligence Service (formerly known as the Domestic Intelligence Services; Domestic Intelligence Division; Intelligence Section) is the security service arm of the Bureau which undertakes internal security operations against terrorist elements and large organized crime groups who are identified as threats to the State as well as undertake internal security operations and investigation on suspected corrupt government officials or persons deemed or identified as a security threat. It is also mandated to undertake and supervise the security training and education of government, police and military personnel (upon their agency request)on matters relating to intelligence and security and when call upon, conduct security survey and risk assessment of government (and at times, private) infrastructures classified as critical in nature.

    IS-NBI operational divisions from time to time are called on by the Bureau management to assist the Special Investigative Services (SIS) in the solution of a number of the high-profile complex crime cases handled by the Bureau during the past several years.

    With the assumption of retired attorney and police General Magtanggol B. Gatdula as Bureau Director in June 2010, the entire Manila based Bureau services underwent streamlining in order to make the NBI more effective and efficient in terms of the utilization of manpower and resources in the fight against elements of organized crime and terrorism.

    The following operational divisions of the Intelligence Service-NBI were retained:

  • Counter Terrorism Division (CTD)- formerly the Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU) renamed as per Administrative Order 16, Series of 2010
  • Counter Intelligence Division (CID)
  • Criminal Intelligence Division (CRID)
  • Research and Analysis Division (RAD)
  • Technical Intelligence Division (TID)
  • In accordance with Administrative Order No. 11, Series of 2010, the following IS divisions were abolished and there respective functions (as well as some of their personnel, equipment and materiel etc.) transferred to the Counter Intelligence Division, namely:

  • Background Investigation Division (BID)
  • Field Operations Division (FOD)
  • Intelligence Special Operations Division (ISOD)
  • The Security Management Division (SMD) formerly assigned with the IS was transferred to the Administrative Services (AS) in accordance with Administrative Order No. 7, series of 2010. The Reaction, Arrest & Interdiction Division (RAID) was transferred to the Special Investigative Services (SIS) in accordance with Administrative Order No. 13, series of 2010.

    A number of experienced operatives from the three disbanded intelligence divisions are to be distributed to two newly created divisions namely the Death Investigation Division (DID) and Environmental Welfare and Protection Investigation Division (EWPID) both of which are under the supervision of the Special Investigation Service (SIS) under then Deputy Director Rickson Chiong. Still, a number of these same operatives expressed their desire to remain in the Intelligence Service and have requested for reassignment with the Counter Terrorism and Criminal Intelligence Division.

    During the past several years, the IS have actively engaged in a number of high-profile anti-crime operations specifically targeting high risk individuals or crime groups. IS operatives however are trained and condition to observe the NBI Rules of Engagement (ROE) wherein priority is given to bringing the malefactor (preferably) alive to face the bar of justice.

    However, if a legitimate law enforcement operation is carried out by the IS-NBI and is met by some form of hostile, violent or deadly resistance from the targeted criminal subject(s), IS operatives are trained to utilize appropriate amount or corresponding use of force in accordance with the existing NBI ROE.

    Such were the case when IS and NBI-CEVRO operatives served the warrants of arrest against the late Alvin Flores et al. in their beach resort hide out in Campostela, Cebu island and in assisting operatives of the (now disbanded) Special Action Unit (SAU) in serving the warrant of arrest against crime suspect Jason ivler.

    At present, select operatives of the IS-NBI are on detached service with the Task Force Judiciary Protection (TFJP) specifically created to undertake the protection, risk assessment, investigation and security training of members of the Judiciary that are:

    1. Assigned to high risk areas;

    2. Received death threats in connection with high risk or heinous crime cases filed in their respective courts;

    3. Actual victims/survivor of violent action intended to kill, maim or wound them;

    4. Assigned to courts which have been the subject or has experienced violent attacks against one of its members, clients or visitors;

    IS operatives working closely with the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) have help train close to 8 hundred judges from the 1st and 2nd level courts originating from the various regions of the country on matters relating to Personal Security Awareness.

    IS operatives assigned with the TFJP undertook overt and covert security inspections of Hall of Justices in various parts of the country in order to gather data for an ideal security protocol for the lower courts. This assignment was undertaken with the guidance and supervision of the Committee on Security of the Supreme Court formerly chaired by Chief Justice (retired), Hon. Reynato Puno, but now under the helm of Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno.

    The Intelligence Service is entrusted with securing the persons of a number of High Profile Subjects (HPS) mostly state witnesses believed to be High Risk Targets, as well as some High Valued Prisoners (HVP) most recent of which in the person of Datu Unsay Mayor Andal Ampatuan Jr. who was secured by IS operatives 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for more than one hundred days at the NBI Detention Building before his transfer to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Detention Center in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig.

    IS operatives (mostly from the Counter Terrorism Division) were tasked to help secure the Department of Justice premises in Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila where the hearings of the Incident Investigation and Review Committee (IIRC) regarding the Manila Bus Hostage Crisis were being held as well as provide field security for the IIRC members during their inspection tour of the Quirino Grandstand at the Luneta and the Hong Thai bus currently being secured at a warehouse in Camp Bagong Diwa, Bicutan, Taguig.

    IS operatives (mainly from the CTD and RAD) accompanied former NBI Director Magtanggol B. Gatdula in securing the person of long wanted Filipino fugitive Rolando Fajardo, regarded as the Philippines Most Wanted Kidnap-For-Ransom-Group leader who illicitly fled the country sometime between 2001 and 2002 to Italy.

    The IS-NBI maintains close working relationship with its domestic counterparts and at times undertake coordinated security operations against terrorist elements with augmented manpower complements from these units.

    In compliance with NBI Memorandum Order No. 15, Series of 2011, dated 17 March 2011, the Reaction, Arrest and Interdiction Division (RAID) was transferred from the administrative supervision of Special Investigative Services (SIS) to the Intelligence Service. However, the RAID was again transferred back to the SIS after a few months.

    As of February 2013, the current IS operational units are as follows:

    1. Counter Intelligence Division (CID)
    2. Criminal Intelligence Division (CRID)
    3. Technical Intelligence Division (TID)

    The Counter Terrorism Division (CTD) and the Research and Analysis Division (RAD)were both temporarily reassigned under the supervision of the Office of the Director NBI.

    During the 2013 Bar Exams, operatives from the Counter Terrorism and Research and Analysis Division – reinforced by operatives from Internal Affairs and Cybercrime Division – are deployed as security support elements to the Supreme Court Security and Manila Police District'' in securing the premises and environs of the University of Santo Tomas for the remainder of the 2013 Bar Exams as per a written request from the Chairman of the Bar Exam, Associate Justice Arturo Brion and Bureau Special Order 002832 issued on 2 October 2013.

    On March 13, 2014, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III, relieved NBI Deputy Director Reynaldo O. Esmeralda, Deputy Director Intelligence Service due to "Trust and Integrity Issues". Esmeralda was replaced by Deputy Director Jose Doloiras, CPA, CESO IV. Prior to his appointment as Deputy Director Intelligence, Doloiras served as the Assistant Regional Director of the NBI Central Visayas Regional Office (NBI CEVRO).

    In March 2014, the RAD has been officially disbanded in accordance with the NBI Rationalization Plan or RATPLAN and its personnel redistributed to other operational and administrative units of NBI Manila. The CTD has been retained and has been returned to the supervision and operational guidance of the Intelligence Service NBI.

    In August 2014, the Research Analysis Unit (RAU) was created and assigned under the control and supervision of the Deputy Director Intelligence of the NBI. It is composed mainly of former intelligence officers from the defunct RAD. The RAU is currently undergoing organizational build-up.

    As of 7 January 2016, the current head of the NBI Intelligence Service is newly appointed Deputy Director Rafael Z. Ragos.


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