THE Philippine National Police yesterday said it will stick with its code of ethics and professional conduct including the issue of when it is okay or not okay to receive gifts from the public.
“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 PNP spokesman Brigadier General Bernard M. Banac.
The PNP creed stands on the basic issues, in particular, it describes the police service as a noble profession which demands from its members specialized knowledge and skills, as well as high standards of ethics and morality, hence, its members must adhere to and internalize the enduring core values of love of God, respect for authority, selfless love and service for people, sanctity of marriage, and family life, responsible dominion and stewardship over material things, and truthfulness.
Section 7 of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employee 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.”
“But in many occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas, we find that food items are just delivered from anonymous senders and grateful public. So instead of letting them get spoiled, we distribute them to the inmates in cells and the barangay tanods and volunteers,” Banac said.
“At any rate, the PNP remains to be bound by rules that govern our conduct under any given situation. RA 6713 strictly requires our adherence to the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for government officials and employees. Our intensified campaign on internal cleansing is ongoing and we will never hesitate to investigate and charge PNP personnel found doing illegal acts,” Banac stressed.
During the 118th Police Service Anniversary, President Rodrigo Duterte said police officers may receive gifts from generous and thankful benefactors since he does not consider gift-giving bribery.
“Kung bigyan kayo tanggapin n’yo. It is not bribery... What I mean is if there is generosity in them. Sabi ng anti-graft you cannot accept gifts. Kalokohan,” the President said as he explained that he finds no problem with with police receiving gifts especially if from people expressing their gratitude.
“You guys from Davao, alam n’yo ‘yan. If you are able to solve a crime and the family would like to be generous to you or a feeling of gratitude for what you accomplished, by all means accept it,” President Duterte said.
The PNP Code of Ethics also states that “PNP members shall adhere to high standards of morality and decency and shall set good examples for others to follow.
“In no instance during their terms of office, among other things, shall they be involved as owners, operators, managers or investors in any house of ill-repute or illegal gambling den or other places devoted to vices, nor they shall patronize such places unless on official duty, and tolerate operations of such establishments in their respective areas of responsibilities. They shall be faithful to their lawfully wedded spouses.”
With Jun Christopher Balangatan