MPD reopening ‘honesty store’
The Manila Police District (MPD) has announced the reopening of its “honesty store” later this month as it clarified that the closure was only temporary and not due to unscrupulous members among its ranks.
“It’s true that the store has lost a hefty [sum] of money but … the losses have been replaced. Besides, the store was not put up as an income-generating project,” MPD spokesperson, Supt. Carlo Manuel, said over the weekend.
“The intention of [the] honesty store is to show the honesty of policemen,” he told the Inquirer.
Busy time for MPD
Manuel said that it was decided to temporarily shut down the store over a week ago to give way to the many activities taking place at the lobby of the MPD headquarters on United Nations Avenue where the store was situated.
While the MPD Finest Brotherhood, the cooperative in charge of the store, had reported a loss of P20,000 (in cash and goods) since the project started in June last year, Manuel said the establishment would resume operations as MPD officials were confident it would still serve its original purpose.
The brainchild of former MPD director, Chief Supt. Rolando Anduyan, the “Manila’s Finest Honesty Store” was the first of its kind in the Philippine National Police.
It operated on the same principle being used at the famous Honesty Coffee Shop near the Port of Ivana in Batanes province.
Using the honor system, customers were expected to pay for the goods they took from the unmanned store by leaving their money in a box inside the establishment.
MPD officials lamented that some buyers might not have paid the correct amount for their purchases, resulting in losses.
MPD defends men
Manuel, however, refuted claims that MPD members themselves were the ones who stole the store’s goods, saying they would not do this since “they know there’s a closed circuit television camera and they would not risk their reputation” by doing such a thing.
He added that the MPD had been reviewing footage taken by a CCTV camera and it showed that the thefts might have been done by dishonest visitors or guests.
On Aug. 15 last year, an inventory conducted by the MPD cooperative running the store revealed that P15,000 worth of goods and money were missing.
Police investigators identified a certain “Nanay Lisa” as the culprit. A former MPD aide, she ran errands for policemen and lived inside the headquarters for several years.
However, footage taken by a CCTV camera on July 23, 2018, showed her taking some goods from a shelf in the store and putting them in her bag.
According to Manuel, Nanay Lisa has not been seen since at the MPD headquarters which is why no charges have been filed against her.
“So far, the videos haven’t caught policemen stealing from the cash box or the store, but we will continue to monitor the store’s operations,” he said.
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