DILG: Cops accepting gifts, money from public will face criminal, admin raps

DILG: Cops accepting gifts, money from public will face criminal, admin raps

MANILA, Philippines— The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) has warned that criminal and administrative complaints will be filed against police officers who will be found guilty of soliciting or accepting gifts or cash that will affect their jobs as law enforcers.

“As a matter of policy, employees under the DILG, including police officers, will be held criminally and administratively liable if they receive or solicit gifts of monetary value from people they serve or transact with in relation to their official functions,” Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said in a statement on Tuesday.

Año was reacting to President Rodrigo Duterte’s statement that there is nothing wrong with policemen receiving gifts from people who are grateful for their service.

Año cited the exception in the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which states that “unsolicited gifts or presents of small or insignificant value offered or given as a mere ordinary token of gratitude or friendship is an exception to graft and corrupt practices.”

Despite this, Año urged police officers not to receive gifts from those grateful for their assistance as they are being paid through taxes.

“May we remind our fellow workers in government, especially those in the Philippine National Police (PNP), that your services are already fully paid by the people through their taxes. Therefore, gifts received in exchange for favors or as a form of bribe is in direct violation of your oath of service and is a violation of law,” Año said.

The Interior Secretary also disclosed that he himself returns gifts sent to him by local government officials and other individuals.

“In fact, it has been my practice in my own office that I do not accept gifts from local government officials or other functionaries and any such gift sent to my office are immediately returned to the sender,” he said.  /muf