PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Oscar D. Albayalde yesterday said policemen are bound to follow their code of conduct and ethical standards as they perform their day-to-day activities and can only accept gifts that have no strings attached.
He particularly cited the need for all police officers and men to follow Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees. “Ang sa tingin kong sinasabi ni Pangulo ay siguro ‘yung minsan kapag birthday, may nagpapadala nang pagkain na hindi naman alam o kung merong natulungan,” he told a DZMM interview.
“Sa batas natin ‘yung insignificant ‘yung value gaya po ng mga pagkain na consumable na maliit na bagay. Pero ‘yun pong malalaking bagay lalo na kapag may kapalit na pabor, bawal na bawal po ‘yan,” he added.
Under the law, public officials and employees shall not “solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any person in the course.”
PNP spokesman Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac earlier said they will stick to their code of ethics and professional conduct which remains the bible of the force in the officers’ daily activities including the thorny issue of when it is okay or not to receive gifts from the citizenry.
“We submit to the better wisdom of our lawyer-president that it is harmless to receive gifts so long as there is no element of corruption involved and no oppression or abuse of authority is committed.
“We always explain to the public that there is no need for them to give gifts as we are just doing our job and we get paid by the Filipino people through our salaries,” said Banac.
Section 7 of RA 6713 specifically “prohibits the solicitation or acceptance of any gift in the course of official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office.”