Pangilinan to cops: Refuse gifts | Inquirer News

Pangilinan to cops: Refuse gifts

/ 05:36 AM August 12, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan called on policemen not to follow illegal orders, warning that accepting gifts as rewards could lead to more abuse and corruption.

In a statement, Pangilinan said the practice, which President Rodrigo Duterte explicitly backed, could also be bad for poor Filipinos who would need help.

“The police will only become more abusive and corrupt. There will come a time when policemen will not act if there is no grease and the police will only side with the rich who can afford a lot of grease,” Pangilinan said.


“Pity our countrymen, especially the poor, in this Christmas gift-giving policy,” he added.


“To the police this is our call: Do not follow illegal orders from higher-ups.”

On Friday night, in a speech at the 118th Police Service Anniversary Celebration, the President said policemen could accept gifts from grateful Filipinos and he would not consider it bribery.

“If you’re able to solve a crime and the family would like to be generous to you or nurture a feeling of gratitude for what you accomplished, then you accept. I have nothing against that. But to us that is something,” the President said.

But Sen. Ronald dela Rosa, a former Philippine National Police chief, said the President was just being pragmatic.

“The policemen did not ask for that. It was voluntarily given because they were happy. If it was given out of goodwill, out of gratitude, out of generosity, there is nothing wrong with that,” he said over dzBB.

Citizens who give gifts tend to be persistent, he noted. And if the gift, such as a new computer, would help them with their work, the policemen could accept this.


“Let’s not give what the President said a bad meaning. He’s just being practical,” he added.

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo, in an interview with Radyo Inquirer, said there could only be bribery if the gift was accepted in exchange for doing a favor for somebody.

“But if you did your duty under the law, without any prior agreement to do it … you did nothing wrong if you would be given a reward because somebody was happy over it,” he said.

Panelo also said the anti-graft law and code of conduct for public officials exempts unsolicited gifts or presents of small or insignificant value offered or given as a token of gratitude or friendship according to local customs or usage.

“Unlike other politicians who forget their laws and grab at opportunity to find fault at what the President says or does, PRRD is a lawyer by profession and training, thus he knows these exemptions are envisioned by the law and is therefore precisely referring to the same during the event,” Panelo said.

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“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,” he added.

TAGS: bribery, bribes, Rodrigo Duterte

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