By DARWIN PESCO
August 14, 2019
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Oscar Albayalde admitted on Tuesday that policemen, including himself, had accepted “insignificant” gifts from “grateful” people.
“I will not be a hypocrite. Kumain din ako ng lechon (I also ate lechon],” he said in a press briefing when asked if he also accepted gifts.
On Monday, Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa said he accepted gifts such as a Lacoste shirt, a watch and lechon when he was the head of the PNP.
“Out of gratitude, minsan talagang may nagbibigay ng ganyan (Out of gratitude, sometimes there are people who give gifts),” Albayalde explained.
He defined “insignificant” gifts as consumable items such as food.
Albayalde, however, urged policemen to decline gifts because they are just doing their job.
Republic Act 3019 or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act” states that unsolicited gifts or presents of small or “insignificant value” is exempted to graft and corrupt practices.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año also cautioned policemen against accepting gifts in exchange for favors, adding that this is included in National Police Commission Memorandum Circular 2016-002, which penalizes such act.
“In fact, it has been my practice in my own office that I do not accept gifts from local government officials or other functionaries and any such gift sent to my office are immediately returned to the sender,” Año said in a press statement.
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