PNP holds pension checks of 2,150 widows of ‘ghost’ retirees
The Philippine National Police has withheld the pension checks of 2,150 people suspected of being part of a syndicate that has defrauded the PNP of some P1 billion in retiree pensions over the last five years.
PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Agrimero Cruz Jr. said the 2,150 pensioners had claimed to be the spouses of deceased police retirees.
“A thorough review and purging of the police retirees’ roster is underway at the national headquarters,” he said.
The PNP said the alleged syndicate ringleader, dismissed policeman Marlon Reyes, had uploaded the names of fake pensioners in the database of the PNP Retirement and Benefits Administration Service (PRBS).
Police are on the hunt for Reyes and his network of fake claimants.
Senior Superintendent Rufino Manere, PRBS director, said Reyes was able to encode fraudulent entries into the pensioners’ database when he was assigned to the Directorate for Personnel and Records Management (DPRM) until he was dismissed from the service in 2008.
He said investigators had so far found Reyes’ handwriting on 530 suspected falsified index card records of pensioner accounts.
Manere said they had identified and deleted more than 1,000 falsified entries encoded in the pensioners’ database.
PRBS investigators noted a pattern in the pensions for the fake accounts, with the amounts set at P11,993.85, P13,750.55 and P16,377.
Manere said the syndicate used several handlers who recruited women who passed themselves off as widows of deceased police retirees.
The syndicate was discovered on July 20 when 30 women were caught with fake pensioners’ IDs while trying to claim pension checks.
The women have been charged with syndicated estafa for using fictitious names as well as falsification of public documents before the Quezon City prosecutor’s office. Dona Z. Pazzibugan
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