POLICE are open to a lifestyle check amid fresh allegations about officials and men who have become wealthy due to their illegal drug activities.
“Nakahanda ang Philippine National Police na muling sumailalim sa lifestyle check alinsunod sa ipinaguutos ng batas, ang Republic Act No. 3019 o ang Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act at ang Republic Act No. 6713 or ‘yung Act Establishing Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Government Employees,” PNP spokesman, Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac told the Journal Group.
The official said that with or without suggestions from anybody, PNP members undergo yearly lifestyle check from the PNP Internal Affairs Service and are required to submit their Statement of Assets and Liabilities. The latest PNP-IAS check was completed last April, he added.
“Bahagi ito ng naging pahayag ng Palasyo tungkol sa pagkakaroon ng lifestyle check pero ito naman ay regular na nating isinasagawa,” said Banac.
Subjecting police officials to a ‘lifestyle check has always been a thorny issue in the PNP with many officers and men saying it is a fact that police always become the ‘whipping boys’ each time there is a controversy.
In the past, some police officials have said that many police personnel should be investigated for “unexplained poverty, not unexplained wealth.”
Subjecting police to a lifestyle check is also unfair if other government officials—elected or appointed—including those from the Department of Public Works and Highways, Bureau of Internal Revenue, Department of Natural Resources and Environment would be exempted from a wealth check.
BIR officials with unexplained wealth have been exposed after police went after a group of kidnappers preying on BIR revenue district officers. Dozens of BIR officers who lost tens of millions of pesos in cash and other precious possessions including jewelry items to the kidnappers did not complain to the police since they cannot explain how they acquired such amount of money, top police officials said.
It was Senator Richard Gordon who broached the idea of a lifestyle check on PNP chief General Oscar D. Albayalde and the 13 policemen led by Major Rodney Baloyo in the aftermath of the ongoing Senate investigation into a 2013 Pampanga drug raid.
All high-ranking PNP officials are also covered by the lifestyle check although the PNP-IAS has not spotted any violations of the anti-graft and corrupt practices law.