Press Release
October 24, 2008


Liberal President Senator Mar Roxas today asked Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno to undertake a decisive action to restore public trust in the Philippine National Police (PNP) by pinpointing responsibility and punishing those behind the "euro general" controversy.

Roxas said it was Puno's job now to "clean up the Aegean stable that the PNP has become" following his own admission that top police officials violated laws on the use of public funds and restricted travels of officials in the case of retired PNP Comptroller Deputy Director General Eliseo de la Paz, who was arrested in Moscow by Russian police for carrying an undeclared cash amounting to 105,000 euros (about P7 million).

"Kailangan ay may papanagutin si Secretary Puno dahil sa malaking pagkakamali na ito. Paano magtitiwala ang taumbayan na kayang ipatupad ng kapulisan ang mga batas natin kung sila mismo ay hindi kayang tumupad sa mga bata? (Secretary Puno must hold someone accountable for this huge mistake. How can the public trust the police to enforce the law if they cannot follow the law themselves?)," Roxas said.

The Ilonggo senator again bewailed the fact that the PNP leadership has failed to sufficiently explain how they allowed the "euro general" controversy to happen as the country's top law enforcement agency.

"Nagtataka ako kung bakit ang bagal gumalaw ng pamunuan ng PNP, DILG at DoJ sa isyung ito. Ito'y maliwanag na maliwanag. Nilabag ni De La Paz ang batas, pero ayaw nilang aksyunan. Ayaw ba nilang malaman ang katotohanan dito? Madadamay ba sila? (Why are the heads of the PNP, DILG and DoJ so slow to act on this issue? This is very clear. De La Paz violated the law, but they don't want to act. Don't they want to know the truth of this? Will they be implicated?)" said Roxas, vice-chair of the Senate committee on foreign relations which is probing the controversy.

"Kalakaran ba ito na ganitong kalaking pera, nasa hand-carry lang, at hawak pa ng misis ng heneral? Kung pinagdududahan ng taong bayan ang opisyales ng PNP, ano pa yung tingin nila sa bawat rank-and-file na pulis na nakikita nila? (Is it proper procedure for this much money to just be in a hand-carry, and held by the wife of a general? If our people are suspecting the PNP officials, what more would their perception be of each rank-and-file officer they see?)" he added.

The Ilonggo senator said the officials of the executive would have to come up with clear explanations as to where the money came from, who had approved its release, and show the bank accounts and documents for these.

"Huwag sana silang umiwas sa pagsagot. Kailangang malaman ng taong bayan kung gaanong karesponsable o iresponsable ang ating mga opisyal sa paggamit ng pera nila (I hope they don't avoid answering. Our people have to know how responsible, or irresponsible, our officials are in the use of the people's money)," he said.

He criticized PNP Director-General Jesus Versoza's circumventing of questions asked in yesterday's probe, as well as his seeming indifference to the apparent violation of procedure in the release of money, which normally required his approval.

"Si Versoza ang dapat simbulo ng katatagan, ng integridad ng PNP. Ang mga pulis ay inatasan na itigil ang mga katiwaliang ito, at mukhang sila pa ang nagtatakip sa katiwalian ng kapwa nila (Versoza should be the symbol of the PNP's stability and integrity. Police are tasked to stop this corruption, but it appears that they are the ones covering up for their fellow policemen)," he said.

Roxas said he will be filing a complaint at the Department of Justice against De La Paz and others concerned, for malversation of public funds, violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Law, violation of administrative proceedings, among other charges.

"Sinabi sa akin sa hearing ni DoJ Sec. Raul Gonzalez na bibigyan niyang daan itong complaint natin, kaya susubukan natin sila ngayon (DoJ Sec. Raul Gonzalez told me in yesterday's hearing that he would give due consideration to our complaint, so we'll put them to the test)," he said.

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