Palace Supports Lifestyle Check for Police Force
In a statement released by Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte, she assured the support of the Palace in conducting lifestyle checks to the PNP officials, which was earlier called upon by the Department of Interior and Local Government, as well as the Bureau of Internal Revenue. Valte, however, assured that the checks will be confidential and results will only made known when cases are filed by the BIR.
Bringing Back Public Trust
According to DILG Secretary Mar Roxas, the move towards asking for a lifestyle check is their way of bringing back the trust of the public with the PNP. This will not only eliminate the corrupt from the roster, but will also make them culpable of the crime they have committed. Preparations are now underway according to Roxas, which include stipulating the rules and regulations on how the checks can be done. In a week or two, it is anticipated that a memorandum circular will be released.
When asked about his willingness to undergo the same check, Roxas notes “there will be no protocol on who will be checked”, removing doubts that he will not submit himself to the investigation.
EDSA Hulidap Case
The call towards investigating the wealth of PNP officials is triggered by the recent hulidap case that happened in EDSA in broad daylight. The alleged robbery has been photographed by some concerned citizens and quickly went viral in the online community.
In the EDSA incident, 12 policemen have been linked with the alleged extortion in the national highway. While eight of them have been already accounted for, the rest from the group are still remaining at large.
In line with this, PNP Chief Director General Alan Purisima has ordered an investigation on what is called a quota system within uniformed police men and women. According to such scheme, police officers are said to be required to collect a certain amount of bribes weekly and have them surrendered to higher officials within their ranks.
According to reports, the mastermind of the whole extortion is Senior Inspector Oliver Villanueva. Since the issue has surfaced, however, Villanueva has never been seen in his post. Being the head of the La Loma Police Station’s Intelligence and Investigation Branch, it has been a week that Villanueva has not reported for work. If he fails to report for 31 days from his work, which constitutes into committing an absent without official leave, dismissal proceedings might follow.
Aside from Villanueva, other officers who have been tagged along the crime include Chief Inspector Joseph de Vera, Senior Inspector Alan Emlano, and dismissed Inspector Marco Polo Estrera. Cases of brigandage, serious illegal detention, and kidnapping have been already filed against the mentioned officers. Administrative sanctions have been also filed. According to one police officer, once they are found guilty of the allegations against them, the criminal cases can be a ground for their dismissal from office, which also prevents them from any benefit they are supposed to receive for their service.