For clearing his superiors, retired Police General Elisio dela Paz has made himself more liable for the P6.9 million (105,000 euros) fund mess of the PNP delegation to the Interpol conference in Russia. It has to be remembered that De la Paz, a PNP comptroller was held by Russian airport authorities in Moscow on October 11, 2008 for carrying money beyond the allowable limits. But in the Senate probe last Saturday he absolved his superior PNP chief Jesus Verzosa and Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno from the fund mess by saying “I did it on my own behalf.”
But Senator Mirriam Defensor Santiago, chair of the foreign affairs committee was not convinced of De la Paz’s statement. She said what happened was “a part of bigger conspiracy.” Santiago believed that De la Paz was only trying to exonerate high ranking police officials since middle-level officials were known to cover up for their superiors. “You are caught between the devil and the hard rock,” Santiago said.
Because of this, dela Paz and other high-ranking Philippine National Police (PNP) officials took a direct hit from Santiago. She told the PNP officials that they were obviously lying in their statements before the Senate body investigating the “contingency scam.” Probably trying to ridicule the police officials failed bid to hide the truth Santiago told Senior Superintendent Tomas Rentoy III “Dapat kung mag-iimbento ka, may two-thirds of the truth (You should have two-thirds of the truth when inventing a lie).”
Another Police Scam?
While the Senate investigates high-ranking officials of the Philippine National Police last Saturday on the 105,000 euros brought undeclared to Russia, Senator Santiago unveiled another PNP controversy: “the police trainees scam.” According to Santiago the PNP receives millions of pesos every year as part of its budget for trainees who are enlisting to the police force. The fund is allocated for the trainees from January to December each year. But as per Commission on Audit report, the amount was never used for its intended purpose. Santiago alleged the amount was used for other purposes such as “to finance vacation packages, bribery, and other transactions by some PNP officials.”
However, a report from the Commission on Audit (COA) said that in 2005, the amount was never used. Instead of it being utilized for its intended purpose, Santiago alleged that the amount financed vacation packages, bribery and other transactions by some PNP officials. The sum of unused funds for trainees, according to Santiago, would add up to P623 million and may probably be the source of the contingency funds.
Filing Charges of Graft and Malversation
Charges of graft and malversation should be filed against retired Philippine National Police (PNP) comptroller Eliseo de la Paz, a congressman said Sunday.
Parañaque City Rep. Roilo Golez said that that the charges of Graft and Malversation should be filed against retired PNP comptroller Eliseo dela Paz by the Office of the Ombudsman as more details on the P6.93 million cash advance were brought out at the Senate’s hearing last Saturday. But the Office of the Ombudsman on Monday said it has yet to file a graft case against former police comptroller Eliseo dela Paz pending verification of his testimony at the Senate last Saturday on the 105,000 euros fund mess.
Assistant Ombudsman Mark Jalandoni said that as part of procedure, their office will interview a number of personalities on Wednesday regarding the “euro generals” controversy.
Jalandoni said graft and malversation charges could be filed against dela Paz following his admission that he violated Philippine National Police rules on the release of funds. But as part of procedure, the Office of the Ombudsman will still have to interview a number of personalities regarding the controversy on the contingency funds.
“I would like to make clear that we will still be comparing dela Paz’s admission with the documents that we already have. What he said may not be necessarily true,” he said when interviewed at a morning show “Umagang Kay Ganda” of ABS-CBN.
As an aftermath of the Senate’s probe last Saturday, National Police chief Director General Jesus Versoza issued a statement released by the PNP last Sunday that “appropriate reforms are underway in all aspects of police administration and management that were discussed during the height of the Senate Blue Ribbon and Foreign Relations committees last Saturday.” This includes a “thorough review of existing policies and procedures involved in fiscal management, procurement, foreign travel, and recruitment.”
Likewise the PNP directorial Staff has also been ordered to “formulate policies that will strengthen the PNP Internal Affairs Service and possibly expand its oversight function.”
Bakit Ngayon Lang?
Pagkatapos igisa at mapahiya sa Senado dahil sa pag-imbestiga ng mga senador sa contingency fund scam ang mga tinaguriang “euro generals” ito nagpalabas na ng direktiba ang pamunuan ng Philippine National Police para baguhin ang mga pamamaraan sa pamamalakad ng pondo ng mga Kapulisan sa buong bansa. Magandang layunin ito lalo na at nagsilabasan na ang mga di-umanoy katiwalian sa paglustay ng pondo ng naturan ahensiya ng pamahalaan. Ngunit bakit ngayon lang. Bakit nang magkabukohan na ay bigla-bigla na lang isiningit itong konsepto ng reporma? Isa na naman kayang hakbang ito upang iligaw na naman ang isyu sa publiko?
Makahulugan din ang pagsasabi ni Senador Lacson na dapat ay kasama din sina DILG secreatary Puno at National Police chief Director General Jesus Versoza sa maaring kasuan ng Ombudsman sa isyu ng “contingency fund scam.” Ito kaya ay dahil sa aspeto ng “command responsibility” o may mas malalim pa silang kaugnayan sa naturang isyu? Kung mapatunayang nagkasala nga ng graft at malversation of public funds itong si General dela Paz ay hindi kukulangin ng 20 years na sintensiya niya. Ano kaya ang laro ni senador Mirriam dito?