MANILA, Philippines — Senate Public Order and Dangerous Drugs Committee chairman Senator Panfilo Lacson wants an investigation on the unreleased P59.8 million subsistence allowance and hazard pay for Special Action Force (SAF) troopers of the Philippine National Police (PNP).
The former chief of police said withholding of allowances may demoralize members of the PNP-SAF.
On Wednesday, April 18, Lacson filed Senate Resolution 712 urging a probe on the issue.
In his resolution, Lacson said, “We cannot allow, yet again, another injustice to be committed against our heroes in uniform who are in the forefront of our fight against the ills of terrorism and criminality, lest we risk demoralization within their ranks.” He insists “the need to probe into the said allegations.”
SAF troopers are entitled to a daily Additional Subsistence Allowance (ASA) of P30 a day or P900 a month. Lacson said that based on records, SAF troopers only received their allowance from January 2016 to July 2017.
He said some members of SAF had approached him regarding their concerns and handed him a copy of the complaint filed against SAF officials at the Office of the Ombudsman.
Former SAF head director Benjamin Lusad and SAF budget officer Senior Superintendent Andre Dizon are accused of plunder and malversation of public funds.
They admitted having the funds but claimed these were used for operational expenses, fellowship, and training. But Lacson said they did not present any proof of liquidation.
Yesterday, outgoing PNP Chief Police Director Ronald Dela Rosa confirmed that a portion of the “missing” money was already turned over by Lusad to the current SAF Chief Police Director General Noli Taliño.
“Una, nagbigay ng P10 million. Tapos, afterwards, nagdagdag ng P27 million so P37 million na iyong naibalik kay General Taliño para i-distribute doon sa mga tropa,” Dela Rosa confirmed.
(He initially gave P10 million. Afterwards, P27 million was added, so a total of P37 million has been returned to General Taliño for distribution to the troops.)
General Bato hopes the investigation will shed light as to why the money was not released. — Marje Navarro – Pelayo |UNTV News & Rescue