Accusations of cops as gambling protectors ‘unfair’-A A +A
Thursday, September 20, 2012
A HIGH-RANKING official of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Alagar in Cagayan de Oro City cried foul over accusations that almost all policemen are “collectors” of protection money from illegal gambling activities.
The official, who requested not to be named, sent a text message to Sun.Star denying former Regional director Chief Superintendent Conrado Laza’s claim.
He said Laza’s accusations that all policemen are “collectors” would ruin the credibility of the whole PNP institution.
“This is very unfair to those policemen who are dedicated to their profession and who have dignity, integrity and loyalty in serving the people and the constitution,” the official said.
He said Laza should not generalize all police personnel; and urged him to come up with “a strong evidence” to support his accusations.
On Tuesday, City Councilor Roger Abaday said all police officials tagged as “collectors of protection money” have been enjoying a “lump sum payoff” from gambling lords who allegedly spend P500,000 per week in exchange for police protection. Abaday based his report on Laza’s claims.
During the session, the City Council passed a resolution urging Secretary Mar Roxas of the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) to conduct a lifestyle check and thorough investigation on police officials in the region.
The police official said they will take the challenge for a lifestyle check to identify who is really receiving protection money.
Though he commended Laza for exposing the anomaly, Councilor Ramon Tabor said the former official could have “corrected the mistakes” when he was still the region’s police director two years ago.
Tabor said he wanted to know why it took Laza too long to make the revelation.
“Why now when he has already retired from the service? It dismays me why it took him to retire before he exposed this particular anomaly. He could have done a lot of things while he was still the regional director,” he said.
Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on September 21, 2012.