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Saturday, April 13, 2024

Palace creates new offices for intel agency

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President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. ordered the creation of a new office under the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) that will cover counterintelligence, cyber intelligence, and countering weapons of mass destruction in a bid to “adapt to the evolving threats to national security.”

“There is a need to reorganize the NICA to ensure a more vigorous intelligence collection, intensify internal and external coordination, and prepare intelligence and security assessments and estimates using data analytics to ensure national security and promote the national interest,” Mr. Marcos said in Executive Order (EO) No. 54.

The EO establishes an Office of the Deputy Director General (ODGG) for Cyber and Emerging Threats under NICA.

“Cyber threats—that is really an emerging problem. We need to coordinate with our foreign and domestic counterparts for this,” NICA director general Ricardo de Leon told Manila Standard in a phone interview.

De Leon, a member of the PMA “Matatag” Class of 1971 and a former president of the Philippine Public Safety College, said some names are already being considered for the new NICA deputy director general position but begged off from disclosing these.

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The head of the new office will have the rank of Assistant Secretary.

The post comes with two units composed of the Directorate for Counterintelligence and Security (DCS) and the Directorate for Cyber Intelligence and Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (DCCWMD).

Mr. Marcos also gave additional functions for NICA, including the authority to request the detail of personnel from other government departments, agencies, bureaus, offices, and institutions “to ensure the effective coordination, integration and fusion of information relative to national intelligence concerns.”

NICA may also be requested by Constitutional bodies, the judiciary, and both Houses of Congress to integrate information and/or intelligence and coordinate on national activities involving intelligence and/or investigation on matters of national security.

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