By: Glazyl Y. Masculino and Dolly Yasa
BACOLOD City –“Huwag tumanggap ng anumang bagay para sa personal na pangangailangan.”
This was stressed by Police Colonel Romeo Baleros, director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo), as he reminded the local policemen to never receive gifts laced with personal interest.
Baleros reiterated the reminder of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, Director General Oscar Albayalde to all policemen that receiving gifts is a form of corruption and is prohibited under the law, particularly if it involves money and other expensive things in exchange for favor.
“Talagang bawal tumanggap dahil nakalagay sa constitution,” Baleros said.
He, however, explained that if it is for the welfare of the unit like vehicle for the enhancement of police visibility patrol for crime prevention, and improvement of the office or camp in the form of equipment, it can be allowed for as long as it is not in the form of bribery.
“It will always depend on the intention, but if it’s something given in exchange for favor, it is strictly prohibited because it is already considered as bribery,” he said.
Baleros said that policemen should render their services to the people and do their responsibilities based on their mandate.
Negros Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer said there is nothing wrong in giving gifts to policemen.
“If you give gifts to policemen from the heart, I think there is nothing wrong with that,” Ferrer told reporters here.
But he said “if it is a bribe to exact favors that is another story and should not be tolerated.”
Ferrer said he is more than willing to give vehicles to the Philippine National Police for use in tracking down criminals, campaign against illegal drugs, and other peace and order related concerns.
“If you are giving gifts from the heart, you expect no returns or repayment,” he added.
PNP chief General Oscar Albayalde earlier warned police officers from accepting items of considerable value in exchange of favors, stressing that it is strictly prohibited, although he admitted that receiving token gifts given out of gratitude is sometimes unavoidable.