‘Ghost’ PNP retirees exorcisedBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday said it had stricken “ghost retirees” off its master list of pensioners, after the Department of Budget and Management reported recently that the force was losing up to P250 million a month due to fake retirement claims.
In a report to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome said the master list containing the names of 60,621 pensioners had been “cleansed and purged” of illicit entries.
The list now has the updated pension accounts of legitimate PNP retirees, widows and minor children of deceased police personnel, and other beneficiaries, PNP spokesperson Generoso Cerbo Jr. said in a statement.
In a briefing at Camp Crame, Cerbo said eight active PNP officers, including one of superintendent rank, had been charged in the Office of the Ombudsman for their alleged participation in the “ghost pensioners scam.”
In September last year, Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said the government had been losing between P200 and P250 million a year since 2006 due to fake claims made by ghost pensioners.
Robredo said that purged from the list were the names of some 2,000 ghost retirees that were mostly fake.
“These were not retired policemen. In fact, many names were not even of police officers. They were just fake names. They were not even the names of dead police officers, which comprise 75 percent of the pensioners,” Robredo said.
Upon retirement, police officers receive pensions of from 50 to 90 percent of their base pay depending on their number of years in the service.
The scam came to light when 30 fake widows showed up at Camp Crame in July last year and tried to claim the pensions of dead police officers.
Their scam involved falsifying PNP documents and impersonating the widows of deceased policemen in order to collect their retirement benefits.
To streamline the distribution of the monthly pensions, Bartolome told Ochoa the PNP recently signed up with Land Bank of the Philippines to use its automated teller machines (ATM) to pay out the pensions.
Pensioners are being enrolled in Landbank’s ATM system nationwide, he said.
Beginning June 1, PNP pensions were adjusted to the salary level of active police personnel, Bartolome said.
The DBM has released P1.125 million to pay for the adjustments.
Originally posted: 2:24 pm | Tuesday, June 19th, 2012