MANILA - Police officers cannot accept gifts that come with strings attached, the country's top cop said Monday.
Philippine National Police chief Gen. Oscar Albayalde made the remark after President Rodrigo Duterte said police officers should accept gifts if these are given out of gratitude or generosity.
Albayalde said policemen are bound to follow Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees.
"Ang sa tingin kong sinasabi ni Pangulo ay siguro 'yung minsan kapag birthday, may nagpapadala nang pagkain na hindi naman alam o kung merong natulungan," he told radio DZMM.
(I think what the President is saying is when, for example, there's a birthday, someone will send food or if the policeman helped anyone.)
"Sa batas natin 'yung insignificant 'yung value gaya po ng mga pagkain na consumable na maliit na bagay. Pero 'yun pong malalaking bagay lalo na kapag may kapalit na pabor, bawal na bawal po 'yan."
(Under the law, policemen could accept those with insignificant value like food and other small things. But significant gifts, especially in exchange of favors, are not allowed.)
Under the law, public officials and employees shall not "solicit or accept, directly or indirectly, any gift, gratuity, favor, entertainment, loan or anything of monetary value from any person in the course of their official duties."
The President earlier said he was OK with the involvement of policemen in gambling businesses as long as their operations remain “clean.”
“As long as it is not rigged in your favor and you secure it complies with the laws, no corruption [then] I will not begrudge you,” he said in a speech during the 118th Police Service Anniversary.
The President said police officers running small-town lottery operations should simply ask to be assigned in places where they do not run gambling businesses out of delicadeza.
“If it’s clean, you don’t deprive government of money due to the country and the people, OK sa akin,” he said.