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Criminal raps set vs Dela Paz, 3 others

Posted by Abi Kwok on October 27, 2008


Verzosa won’t step down or go on leave

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 15:01:00 10/27/2008


MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE) Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Jesus Verzosa has ordered the filing of criminal charges against a former police comptroller and three other officials for the alleged unauthorized release of close to P7 million worth of cash advances.

At a press conference Monday, Verzosa also said he would not step down or take a leave of absence as PNP chief despite calls from several Senators.

“We have a lot of things to do. We are now undertaking a lot of security operations for the [Global Forum on Migration and Development]. We are also undertaking several actions pertaining to the threats in Mindanao. It is not proper that I will leave these tasks that are very important,” he said.

In a prepared statement read before media, Verzosa also ordered the filing of administrative charges against Eliseo dela Paz who was found in possession of P6.9 million worth of euros in Russia early this month as he was about to leave Russian after attending an Interpol forum in St. Petesburg that he attended along with seven other senior police officers.

The PNP made public Monday the 100-page initial report of its investigation.

“Based on the findings of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM), there is reasonable basis to file criminal as well as administrative charges against concerned police officers, particularly those involved in the funding, release, and disbursement of funds used in the official mission of the PNP delegation to…Russia,” Verzosa said.

He instructed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to file criminal charges against Dela Paz; Senior Superintendent Tomas Rentoy, chief of the budget division, directorate for comptrollership; Superintendent Samuel Rodriguez, disbursing officer for directorate for intelligence; and, Chief Superintendent Orlando Pestaño, chief of the PNP finance services.

Chief Superintendent Raul Bacalzo, DIDM chief, said the possible charges include malversation of public funds, violation of Republic Act 3019 (Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act), and violation of RA 7653 (New Central Bank Act).

But he added that Rentoy, Rodriguez, and Pestaño will not be suspended nor relieved of their duties yet, pending the final results of the investigation of the PNP.

Verzosa also called on CIDG to file administrative charges against Dela Paz at the Office of the Ombudsman for “failure to declare the 105,000 euros he brought out of the country when he travelled to Russia.”

Based on the initial investigation of the PNP, the approved money for the travel of the eight-man PNP delegation was P2.3 million. However, only P2.192 million was withdrawn from the PNP bank account on September 26, Bacalzo said.

But on October 3, Dela Paz withdrew P6.93 million more from the Finance Service from Rodriguez to Rentoy, he added.

“And the only authority we can obtain is verbal instructions and that is the subject of the case that will be filed with the Ombudsman,” Bacalzo said.

Meanwhile, Verzosa also ordered the seven active members of the Philippine delegation to the Interpol assembly to return the entire P2.1 million given to them during the trip.

“I ordered all PNP officers who attended the 77th Interpol conference in Russia to submit individual liquidation reports of the P274,070 cash advance that each of them received, or totaling to P2.192 million.”

“I am ordering the seven active service PNP officers concerned to return the entire cash advance for travel they received from the Finance Service, and I am also encouraging Dela Paz to do the same considering that the procedure involved in the release of this amount is questionable,” he said.

The seven high-ranking police officials in the Russian trip were deputy director general Emmanuel Carta, deputy chief for administration; deputy director general Ismael Rafanan, deputy chief for operations; director German Doria of the PNP human resource and doctrine development; director for plans Romeo Ricardo; Zamboanga Peninsula Director Jaime Carignal, Superintendent Elmer Pelobello, and Director Silverio Alarcio Jr. of the directorial staff.

Bacalzo said that if the seven PNP officials can properly liquidate and account for the P2.192 million, then “they are entitled to reimbursement [but] they should undergo process and procedure. You will submit your tickets, your receipts, and if CoA [Commission on Audit] will allow, then you are entitled to reimbursement.”

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