Police exodus

-PRO, DCPO probe alleged P20,000 pay-off

Authorities are looking into reports that some city police officers who sought for transfer paid P20,000 just to get approval from higher office.

Police Regional Office director Chief Supt. Manuel Gaerlan said a fact-finding committee has been formed to investigate the serious allegation.

If true, Gaerlan said those who gave money and those who received should be charged for bribery and graft and corruption.

Gaerlan said Sr. Supt. Huberto Abadia, chief of the regional police admin office, has already denied involvement on the matter.

“Let’s identify (those involved in the pay-off),” Gaerlan said.

At least 100 rookie cops assigned at Davao City Police Office (DCPO) sought for transfer due to various reasons.

Gaerlan said at least 80 of them were transferred based on the request of then Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa. They were transferred to Presidential Security Group (PSG), Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG) and some to the national headquarters.

The others sought reassignment to other units outside DCPO.

Gaerlan said the re-assignment to national headquarters and other units is just normal.

But for an officer who sought transfer because he could not take the work pressure of a particular unit should not be tolerated.

They should resign instead of asking for re-assignment, Gaerlan told ABS-CBN’s Mindanao TV Patrol yesterday. He said police work is never an easy task.

DCPO director Sr. Supt Alexander Tagum said most of those who requested for transfer to other units in the region are having work difficulties.

In Gaerlan’s order, the DCPO will also conduct parallel investigation to look into the pay-off issue.

Tagum admitted that officers assigned at DCPO have stiffer work schedule compared to their counterparts in other areas.

For one, DCPO officers are sometimes rendering a 12-hour duty, four hours more than its normal work hour, due to series of major events, such as conventions and conferences, in the city.

And since it’s the hometown of President Rodrigo Duterte, it could not be avoided that full alert status is often imposedWith this, even off-duty officers are required to report for work.

“Wala na pong uwian (We’re not going home anymore),” Tagum said.

The city director said he expects the highest standards of police work to those assigned at DCPO “because we know the challenges.”

Tagum said he is not the one who approves the transfer of DCPO personnel to other non-DCPO units, as he only receives relief order from higher authorities on that matter.

Tagum said he doesn’t want to speculate on the pay-off issue as an investigation is on-going. However, he said the PNP is strictly implementing measures and policies so it is very difficult to pay to get approval for the transfer.

The DCPO chief has already requested to fill up the vacated post.

“We are still waiting for the approval from the higher headquarters,” he added.

Police Director General Oscar Albayalde, in his Davao visit last month, said there was already a recruitment of 500 additional officers for Davao region. However, no exact figure is set to be assigned to the city.

During her meeting with Albayalde, Mayor Sara Duterte was seeking to block the transfer of city-assigned police officers to other non-DCPO units.

She said the city spent funds for the training of the officers yet other police offices outside Davao City are the ones benefiting from it.

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