THE Philippine National Police (PNP) will submit to the “better wisdom” of President Rodrigo Duterte on how to deal with gifts.
PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac said the PNP remains bound by rules that govern their conduct at any given situation particularly in accepting gifts.
“We submit to the better wisdom of our lawyer-president 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,” Banac said in a statement on Saturday, August 10, 2019.
“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. 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.
However, he said no matter how many times they explain it to the public, they continue to receive gifts from them especially during birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas.
Banac said they require police personnel to adhere to the law, which stops them from receiving gifts.
He noted that the PNP's intensified campaign on internal cleansing is ongoing and they will never hesitate to investigate and charge PNP personnel found committing illegal acts.
On Friday, August 9, Duterte said police officers can accept gifts or earn money from video karera as long as they keep their integrity intact.
"Well, basta kung bigyan kayo, eh tanggapin ninyo (If they give you a gift, accept it). It is not bribery because... It cannot be bribery because it is allowed by law. What I mean is if there is generosity in them, sabi ng anti-graft you cannot accept gifts. Kalokohan ‘yan (That's insane)," he said.
Republic Act No. 3019 also known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act prohibits public officers and employees from “directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit, for himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction between the government and any other party, wherein the public officer in his official capacity has to intervene under the law.” (SunStar Philippines)