Distor named new NBI OIC

By Genalyn Kabiling 

President Duterte has designated National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Assistant Director Eric Distor as officer-in-charge of the government agency, according to Senator Christopher Go.

NBI OIC Eric Distor visits DOJ Sec. Menardo Guevarra following appointment from Malacanang (C) NBI OIC Eric Distor visits DOJ Sec. Menardo Guevarra following appointment from Malacanang (JEFFREY DAMICOG / MANILA BULLETIN)

The designation of Distor to temporarily lead the country's main investigative institution was made following the retirement of NBI Director Dante Gierran this month. Go, the President’s former close aide, confirmed on Wednesday the latest assignment given to Distor.

Malacañang later released the memorandum issued by Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea on the designation of Distor. His new work assignment took effect February 23.

"In compliance with the instruction of the President and in order to ensure the continuous and effective delivery of public service, please be informed that MR. ERIC BITO-ON DISTOR has been designated as Officer-in-Charge of the Office of the Director, National Bureau of Investigation, Department of Justice effective 23 February 2020 until a replacement is appointed or until otherwise directed by this Office," Medialdea said in a letter to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra.

The Palace memorandum was signed last February 21.

Prior to his new designation, Distor serves as assistant director for intelligence service of the NBI. He previously led the NBI Internal Affairs Services.

Gierran, a lawyer, was appointed by the President to the top NBI post back in 2016. He was the former NBI regional director for the Davao region.

Under Republic Act No. 10867 that reorganized and modernized the investigating bureau, the NBI director must be natural-born citizen of the country and a lawyer for 15 years, preferably from within the ranks of directors. The NBI director, to be appointed by the President, will have a rank, salary and benefits equivalent to that of an Undersecretary.

The NBI is empowered to investigate crimes and other offenses against the country’s laws, act as national clearing house of criminal records, extend assistance in cases involving extradition and mutual legal assistance, conduct intellgicne operations, among others.