PHILIPPINE National Police chief General Camilo Pancratius P. Cascolan yesterday said he has ordered the PNP Integrity Monitoring and Enforcement Group and the Internal Affairs to subject officers and men of the force with questionable wealth to a lifestyle check.
“This will be made by the IMEG together with IAS so that we would be able to see what’s happening with our people now. Maganda ang morale nila pero ano nga ba ang kabuhayan nila ngayon. Paano sila nagkaroon ng mga gamit na ganyan?” the top cop told newsmen at Camp Crame.
Gen. Cascolan added that his move is in line with President Duterte’s order to investigate corruption in the government.
“‘Yung kautusan po ng Presidente natin susundin po namin ‘yan by the book and we will strictly implement it to those people who are actually violating and coming up with corruption practices,” Gen. Cascolan said.
Since the start of the Duterte administration, police have launched several lifestyle checks on its men specifically those who were caught gambling in casinos and those who have been reported to have amassed ill-gotten wealth and are living beyond their means.
“We have stiff penalties with regard to that and they will be given sanctions. We will also file cases against them if needed,” the PNP chief said as he maintained they are advocating for good governance in the force which is undergoing a massive transformation program.
The PNP-IAS headed by Inspector General Alfegar Triambulo in the past have investigated officers caught gambling in casinos. “Kapag ikaw ay nagka-casino, ang ibig sabihin marami kang kayamanan kaya ikaw ay nagsusugal,” he said.
The PNP-IAS needs to look into the statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth of the policemen they are investigating. As soon as probable cause is established that an individual cop has unexplained wealth, he faces the prospect of facing criminal and administrative cases for violation of the anti-graft and corrupt practices act.
President Duterte had made it clear he does not want policemen and other law enforcement officers as well as public and government officials to be seen inside casinos.
Following the presidential order, the IAS said it has formed an intelligence unit specifically tasked to conduct lifestyle checks on police personnel. The PNP-IAS said it is looking into offices which could be breeding grounds for corruption like the different PNP regulatory offices issuing licenses and police clearances.
Triambulo said that many of those subjected to lifestyle checks were accused in anonymous letters of involvement in illegal drug activities.