The Philippine National Police (PNP) reminded all policemen that receiving gifts is a form of corruption and is prohibited under the law.
This is in compliance with Republic 9713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
PNP chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde advised all police officers not to misinterpret President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that it is okay for them to receive gifts from any people, particularly the wealthy and influential people.
“There may be some misinterpretation of this so we just want to remind our men about the Code of Conduct which is actually a law,” said Albayalde.
During the 118th Police Service anniversary celebration on Friday, President Duterte said he found nothing irregular with such police behavior, even after reminding the cops to keep their integrity intact and adhere to ethical and professional standards.
Duterte said that people giving gifts to policemen after solving a crime does not constitute bribery or other violation of the law.
Albayalde said the President may be referring to food items that are sent to policemen during their birthday celebrations.
“Hindi po talaga maiiwasan yan at kadalasan ay hindi rin po alam kung sino ang nagpadala (That cannot be avoided and in many occasions, the senders are unknown),” said Albayalde.
“But if it involves money and other expensive things and those who would give these gifts would ask for favor in return, then it is clearly and strictly prohibited,” he added.
The official also reminded the public that cops are public servants and serving and protecting them are part of the PNP mandate and policemen’s sworn duty.
Albayalde also said that all policemen should be acquainted with the code of conduct of government officials and employees for them to stay out of trouble.
Aside from graft cases, cops accepting gifts would make them liable of administrative cases wherein the maximum penalty is dismissal from service.
For his part, PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said that it is harmless to receive gifts so long as there is no element of corruption involved and no oppression or abuse of authority is committed.
“We always explain to the public that there is no need for them to give gifts as we are just doing our job and we get paid by the Filipino people through our salaries,” Banac said.
“But in many occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas, we find that food items are just delivered from anonymous senders and grateful public. So instead of letting them get spoiled, we distribute them to the inmates in cells and the barangay tanods and volunteers,” he added.
At any rate, Banac said the PNP remains to be bound by rules that govern our conduct under any given situation.
“Our intensified campaign on internal cleansing is ongoing and we will never hesitate to investigate and charge PNP personnel found doing illegal acts,” he stressed. (PNA)
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