Atty. Ric Diaz for NBI? NO!

January 23, 2012 Statement of National Press Club President Jerry S. Yap 

Atty. Ric Diaz for NBI? NO!

The sacking of NBI Director Magtanggol Gatdula opens the agency for a chance to redeem from the decade of shame.   The President must seize the chance, make the best choice, and expect the change he wants.

In making the choice, P-Noy must make one like there’s no more tomorrow.  If the selection is superb, the press that has become so desperate by the inutility of the NBI for the last decade may wake up to raffle the drums and trumpet the message of hope.

In the past, journalists relied on the NBI when they would not get results from the Philippine National Police (PNP). But this reliance has diminished in the last decade with NBI men involved in indiscretions with various kinds of evil lords, including those in the sex and drug industry as well as election cheating.

Many journalists died by the commands of these lords, including the 12 who have been murdered since P-Noy started office on July 1, 2010 and the 32 amongst the 57 slain brutally on November 23, 2009 in Ampatuan, Maguindanao.

This connection between NBI men on one hand and the lords on the other has nurtured the tradition where the press has remained pressed: the bravest among them were killed.

The basic work of the NBI is crime detection, no less.  Use of law enforcement must be limited only to those indispensable to achieve the purpose of the detection job. The NBI is not there to raid clubs and receive weekly collections like the policemen.


It is revolting to think that detection works in cases of killing journalist already has a hint: To zero in on the lords of the community for it is only one of them is interested to kill a hard-hitting broadcaster or reporter or editor.

Despite this wisdom, only one case—only one case, that of Marelene Esparat’s death in Tacurong City, Sultan Kudarat, saw arrests, cases filed in courts, and the gunmen convicted.  But this happened because the hired killers spilled the beans voluntarily.  Were it otherwise, the press can predict the fate of that case: NOTHING AS USUAL.

Gone are the days when police detectives of the Manila’s Finest were epitomes of crime detection in the caliber of the legend of Sherlock Holmes. 

The National Press Club wants no less than a man full of nobility, bravery and integrity to head the NBI for it to wake up from its nightmare and be helpful to the people and the press.

As argued by the events of the last decade, press freedom is tied indispensably to the ability or inability of the State detectives to detect who should be prosecuted for assaults against the vacationers of this liberty.

In turn, the liberty of the press is indispensable to the State. This needs not be stressed. Just imagine a country without reporters. Or just listen to this wisdom of Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM): “Walang demokrasya kung walang media.”

Definitely, the Press is opposed to those who have history of brushes with the media and those who have not shown understanding of the essence of the press to make governance transparent.

            While it is difficult to pinpoint who should be disqualified outright for the NBI top post, the NPC says: “NO TO ATTY. RICARDO DIAZ.”

            In the evening of November 11, 2011, Mr. Bernard Galang of People’s Journal and People’s Tonight was arrested by NBI agents being led by Atty. Diaz.

Also, Diaz’s men confiscated the digital camera of Galang and erased the pictures he took during the raid on one of the nightspots in Angeles City. 

True, Diaz apologized to Galang but he has never punished the agents who actually manhandled Galang.

And if he cannot discipline his own men, there is no way that Diaz can handle all the 300 agents perceived as persons having no regard to decency and morality.

The NPC wrote De Lima about Diaz and his men.  No action has been done, until today.

            As such, it is an impropriety for De Lima to recommend Diaz to take over after recommending the sacking of Gatdula for alleged involvement in the kidnapping by NBI agents of a Japanese woman in October 2011.

More so the impropriety becomes apparent if the people know that Diaz is a Bicolano like De Lima and is her shooting buddy.

            Atty. Diaz? It’s no more fun in the Philippines.
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