PNP admits there’s truth to Lacson claim of ‘jueteng’ copsBy Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The Philippine National Police on Monday said Senator Panfilo Lacson’s claim that some police officials were receiving millions of pesos in “jueteng” payoffs may have some semblance of truth.
“We have to address that issue as mentioned by Senator Lacson,” the PNP spokesperson, Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr., told reporters.
“Of course, we cannot ignore Senator Lacson’s knowledge of this issue given the fact that he is a former PNP chief. We also know that he has many sources about this issue,” Cerbo said.
At a news conference in Camp Crame, he said the PNP would look into Lacson’s claim that a regional police director may be getting between P2 million and P3 million monthly from operators of the illegal numbers game.
Lacson, who implemented a strict “no-take policy” from jueteng operations when he was the head of the PNP, also said that a provincial police director could be receiving as much as P1.5 million a month in protection money.
The senator placed the daily take from jueteng at P50 million daily.
“We are investigating the reported involvement of police officers in jueteng. No one is exempted from this. If there is evidence to warrant an administrative case, then we will (file it),” Cerbo said.
He said the PNP would give due consideration to Lacson’s statements “in light of the ongoing anti-illegal gambling campaign of the PNP.”
As to the senator’s contention that the underground lottery would not proliferate without police support, Cerbo said more than 100 PNP personnel implicated in jueteng operations and other illegal activities had been dropped from the rolls during the first half of 2012.
The PNP spokesperson, however, could not provide specific figures for dismissals involving jueteng.
“I cannot give you the exact numbers at this time, but the (figures) are very significant. They’re substantial,” he said.
He said hundreds more were suspended, reprimanded or admonished for committing serious offenses while others “forfeited their regular salaries.”
Cerbo said PNP Director General Nicanor Bartolome had ordered the relief of several police officials for their failure to curb jueteng in their areas in compliance with the PNP’s “one-strike policy.”
In June, then Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo relieved from their posts Chief Insp. Joseph Calonge Laureta of Alaminos, Laguna; Senior Insp. Allan Joy Medina Suratos of Alcala, Pangasinan, and Senior Insp. Roger Manuel Digmayo of Santo Tomas, Pangasinan, for their failure to contain jueteng.
“In fact, hundreds of police personnel are being investigated every year based on the reports we’re receiving,” Cerbo said.
“This only proves that we are continuously monitoring police personnel who are involved in illegal activities, including those involved in illegal gambling,” Cerbo said.