Palace: Gifts to cops for a ‘job well done’ not bribery

Marje Pelayo   •   August 12, 2019   •   326

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang maintains stand that giving gifts to cops for their honest performance on duty is not a form of bribery nor against the law.

“Unsolicited gifts of nominal or insignificant value not given in anticipation of, or in exchange for, a favor from a public official or employee is likewise an exemption under Republic Act No. 6713, or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

President Rodrigo Duterte mentioned on August 10, 2019 that it wouldn’t be wrong if police officers would accept gifts from people who gave it out of gratitude.

“Well, basta kung bigyan kayo, tanggapin ninyo. It is not bribery because — it cannot be bribery because it is allowed by law. What I mean, if there is generosity in them,” the President said.

“Sabi ng anti-graft [law] you cannot accept gifts? Kalokohan iyan (That’s foolish). I know that, especially the police, if you are able to solve a crime and the family would like to be generous to you or would nurture a feeling of gratitude for what you’ve accomplished, then by all means, accept it,” he added.

Gift giving, Panelo said, is simply an appreciation for something good that has been done by a law enforcer especially for risking his life to maintain peace and order in a community.

“The giving of the gift is simply an appreciation by a thankful community for a job well done performed by the law enforcers whose lives flirt with death every time they step out of their homes,” Panelo said.

Such gesture, likewise, will add inspiration to other policemen to also perform well in their jobs and to improve in their work.

Panelo stressed that the President, being a lawyer himself, knows fully what is lawful and what it against the law. – MNP (with details from Rosalie Coz)

Palace confirms suspension of loans and deals with countries backing UN rights probe

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 23, 2019

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo

Malacañang confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has signed a memorandum suspending loans and deals with countries backing the Iceland resolution.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo recently denied that there was such order but he corrected himself earlier on Monday (September 23).

“When I asked him [Duterte], he said ‘No, I did not.’ He might have forgotten momentarily. When I asked him again, he said, ‘Yes, I remember calling the Secretary about it,” he said.

Panelo added that the mix-up was due to “lapse of memory”.

Duterte signed a confidential memorandum on August 27 suspending loans and negotiations with 18 member-countries of the United Nations Human Rights Council after they backed the resolution to probe the anti-drug war campaign in the country.

Panelo also said Duterte mentioned that the Philippines was insulted by the Iceland resolution.

“We cannot allow this country who is insulting us, a country who condemns allegedly our slaying of certain victims yet it allows abortion of unborn children up to less than 6 months old,” according to Duterte.

According to the presidential spokesperson, there are other bilateral partners and institutions offering similar grants with the 18 states involved.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

Duterte orders stricter road safety checks after South Cotabato mishap

Aileen Cerrudo   •   September 20, 2019

President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered stricter implementation of road safety checks after a private truck fell into a ravine in South Cotabato on Tuesday (September 17).

Based on reports, 21 people were killed while 14 others were injured due to the South Cotabato mishap.

According to the Department of Transportation (Dotr), officials from several departments had a meeting with the president on Wednesday (September 18).

The chief executive has ordered to intensify roadworthiness checks, improve driver’s licensing requirements, periodic drug testing, and financial capability checks for operators.

“The chief executive pushed for the urgent nationwide implementation of the PUV Modernization Program (PUVMP) to improve the level of safety and security of passengers,” the Dotr said in a statement on Facebook.

Duterte has also emphasized that private vehicles used beyond their legitimate purpose should be banned.

Vehicles should also have proper road safety equipment and facilities while operators who do not have the financial capability for safety improvements should cease to operate.

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said the department will improve on road safety through various programs including Motor Vehicle Inspection System (MVIS).

“Ilang buhay na naman ‘ho ang nawala sa atin. Itigil na ang kawalan ng disiplina. Itigil na ang pagiging pabaya sa kalsada. Sa utos ng ating Pangulo, sisikapin naming masiguro na tanging mga roadworthy vehicles lang ang bibiyahe sa kalsada, at lahat ng driver ay may sapat na kaalaman at disiplina sa pagmamaneho, (Several lives have already been lost. Let us stop the lack of discipline. Stop recklessness on the road. According to our President’s order, let us strive to ensure that only roadworthy vehicles should operate and all drivers should have discipline in driving),” Tugade said.—AAC

‘Tracker team’ all set for deployment as Duterte’s surrender deadline for heinous crime convicts passes

Marje Pelayo   •   September 19, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte’s surrender deadline for heinous crime convicts freed through the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) will be until midnight of Thursday (September 19).

After which, the Philippine National Police (PNP) will deploy its tracker team to chase those who refuse to yield to the President’s call.

According to National Capital Region Police (NCRPO) Chief Police Major General Guillermo Eleazar, out of 1,914 heinous crime convicts released under GCTA, a total of 202 reside in Metro Manila.

From that number, only 26 surrendered.

Therefore, a total 176 convicts remain at large and they are the target of the NCRPO’s tracker team.

“All the tracker teams natin of the 176 targets in Metro Manila, they will start their manhunt at 12 o’ clock. They are distributed in the 26 police station,” Eleazar said.

“Within 6 hours from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock all the 176 addresses, lahat iyon ay pupuntahan ng tracker teams natin, (They will all be chased by our tracker teams,)” he added.

Eleazar said they want to arrest their targets alive as much as possible.

“We want to get them alive, but kung mayroong (but in the event of) aggressive behavior on their part, of course, we have to defend ourselves,” he explained.

The official warned to file appropriate charges against those convicts who would refuse arrest.

Earlier today, four convicts surrendered to the NCRPO though their names were not included in the list of GCTA-freed convicts of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

All they wanted, they said, was to make sure their lives are safe.

They are now under the custody of the BuCor. – MNP (with details from Lea Ylagan)

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