National Intelligence Coordinating Agency

National Intelligence Coordinating Agency
National Intelligence Coordinating Agency
Pambansang Sangay para sa Pagsasamang Kaalaman
180 px
Seal of the NICA
Agency overview
Formed 1949
Preceding agency National Intelligence and Security Authority
Jurisdiction Government of the Philippines
Headquarters Quezon City, Philippines
Agency executive Trifonio Salazar, Director-General
Parent agency Office of the President

The National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) (Filipino: Pambansang Sangay para sa Pagsasamang Kaalaman) (PSPK) is the primary intelligence gathering and analysis arm of the Philippine government, in charge of carrying out overt, covert, and clandestine intelligence programs. Its motto is: Ang Karunungan ay Kaligtasan (translated: "Knowledge is Safety").

Presently, NICA is in close coordination with the CIA, Mossad, Secret Intelligence Service and intelligence services of ASEAN countries to counter the threat of terrorism.

The agency is led by a Director-General and is assisted by a Deputy Director-General. The former reports directly to the President.[1] Its present headquarters are located in Quezon City.[2] Trifonio Salazar is the current director general of NICA[3]

The NICA has a National Intelligence Board that serves as an advisory board to the Director-General before he would submit his findings to the President relating to national security matters affecting the Philippines.[1][4]



Founded in 1949, it was created by President Elpidio Quirino under the authority of Executive Order 235 with further powers relating to intelligence work added by a commission of the Government Survey and Reorganization Commission in 1954.[4] It was abolished on September 16, 1972 by President Ferdinand Marcos under Presidential Decree 51 and replaced by the National Intelligence and Security Authority (NISA)[4] headed by General Fabian Ver. The agency was primarily used to track down and eliminate anti-Marcos opponents before President Marcos was forced into exile. During his reign, it was one of main government organizations accused of human rights abuses.[5] After the 1st EDSA Revolution, it was renamed the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency in 1987, replacing the NISA and was merged with the Civil Intelligence and Security Agency[1] when the Philippine Constitution was revamped, where it refocused its priorities in tackling the communist movement. Their work has resulted in their weakening in the late '90s.[5]

In 1990, the Philippine's National Security Advisor was given responsibility to oversee management and control of the agency as to be responsive to the needs of the president and the National Security Council.[5]

Current Tasks

Executive Order Number 492, issued on February 1, 2006, orders the NICA to activate the National Maritime Aerial Reconnaissance and Surveillance Center or NMARSC. The NMARSC shall serve as the primary IMINT provider for the Philippine intelligence community. Under the supervision and oversight of the National Security Adviser, the NICA-directed NMARSC will operate unmanned aerial vehicles or UAVs to cater to the imagery intelligence demands of various government agencies.

NICA agents were also responsible for the arrest of several Abu Sayyaf members, including Al Qaeda-linked bomber Abdulmukim Edris as well as the imprisonment of the Maguindanao massacre mastermind, Andal Ampatuan.[6]

The NICA is also active in the Philippines' Anti-Terrorism Council, established recently, in order to set guidelines in passing a proposed Anti-Terrorism Law,[7] known as the Human Security Act signed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on February 8, 2007.[8]

In 2005, it started activation of two directorates involving economic intelligence and counterintelligence.[9]

NICA liaison officers are official part of the Philippine diplomatic missions in major cities and key consular sites.


  • Office of the Director-General - Led by Director-General
  • Directorate of Operations - Led by Assistant Director-General for Operations
  • Directorate of Production - Led by the Assistant Director-General for Production
  • Directorate of Administration - Led by the Assistant Director-General for Administration
  • Management and Planning Office
  • Office of the Comptroller
  • Various Field Stations

Known Director Generals

  • Fabian Ver, accused by various human rights groups of using the NISA as an anti-Marcos watchdog as well as the "secret police" of the regime supported by the military and the police elements to crush the subversive elements at that time.
  • Alfredo Filler, retired as Vice Chief of Armed Forces of the Philippines after serving as director.[10]

Col Vicente S. Yumul- in 1986 took over as Director-General of NICA after Gen Fabian Ver was ousted when Cory Aquino became President.


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