NBI modernization bill proposes ‘nerve center’ for cybercrime
A proposed legislation filed at the House of Representatives is seeking to establish and maintain a “Cyber Investigation and Assessment Center” within the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Under House Bill 5683, otherwise known as the “NBI Reorganization and Modernization Act of 2012,” the Cyber Investigation and Assessment Center will serve as the nerve center for computer, information technologies, data on cybercrime cases, computer intrusion, threats and other related crimes or activities.
The bill is authored by Ang Kasangga partylist Representative Teodorico Haresco, who said that the present NBI is still practically using medieval forensic technology that it does not even have its own national deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) database despite rapid advances in DNA technology.
Apart from equipment modernization, Haresco also raised the need to re-organize the entire agency so that it would become more responsive to the changing challenges in the battle against all forms of criminality.
“The only way that we could realize the NBI’s mission-vision of a world-class investigative institution providing quality investigative and forensic services to the people through advanced method and equipment in the pursuit of truth and justice is through modernization and reorganization. We cannot modernize without investing on the latest technologies in forensic science and put competent people who know how to use these latest technologies,” Haresco noted.
Haresco also noted that the NBI, whose creation can be traced from Commonwealth Act No. 181 which was enacted by the legislature on November 13, 1936 was patterned after the United States’ Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) but after 76 years of existence, it has barely adapted with the ever-changing society.
“The main objective of the NBI is the establishment and maintenance of a modern, effective and efficient investigative service and research agency. However, with almost 76 years of existence, there is a need to reorganize and modernize the NBI to fully adapt to the ever-changing society,” Haresco.
“This bill seeks to reinforce the NBI’s vision-mission of a world-class investigative institution providing quality investigative and forensic services to the people through advanced methods and equipment in the pursuit of truth and justice,” he added.
Under his proposal, the NBI shall implement a modernization program geared towards the acquisition of state-of-the-art investigative and intelligence equipment and the establishment of forensic and scientific laboratories. The program shall include provisions for the training of its personnel.
Haresco also proposed that the number of investigative and non-investigative staff of the NBI shall be increased and their positions upgraded “to adequately meet the increasing demands of an expanded investigative and detective work,” while recommending an upgrade of their salaries and benefits upon the determination of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the NBI director.
Among other things, the salient features of the bill propose the establishment of an NBI Academy which shall be responsible for the recruitment, training and development of all NBI agents and personnel.
Haresco’s NBI modernization measure also seeks to “establish and maintain an integrated, comprehensive and state-of-the-art network, equipment and facilities to be used by the NBI in its criminal investigation, detection and evidence gathering, and to provide the corresponding training in this regard.”
The bill also proposes the creation of a Forensic and Scientific Research Center which shall service as the primary center for forensic and scientific research in furtherance of scientific knowledge in criminal investigation, detection, and evidence collection and preservation