What an untimely piece of news to hear that a number of ranking police officials in the Philippines has been allowed by the National Police Commission (Napolcom) to attend police-related seminars abroad?
With the economic meltdown, which almost affected all the economic weaklings, some government officials still could afford to close their eyes to the present realities, if only to push through with their selfish motives to leave the country, estashed in their pockets hard-earned currencies for junkets. What makes it worse is that the wives of these police officials were tagged along with them. Let’s say that they had shouldered their own expenses for air fare, what about the pocket money that is supposed to be spent, will be shared as couples while enjoying themselves abroad to buy souvenir items and for food and hotels.
Of course, the official travel was approved even before the final hours for departure was announced so that there’s no choice but to go with the scheduled annual Interpol meeting in the Soveit Union. But I don’t think this is compulsory on the part of all police organizations worldwide to attend this annual event, event with economic problems that beset the developing economies all over the world.
Political observers pointed to the Napolcom as a government agency that is subservient to the wishes of the active police officials, which is wrong. Under the law, Napolcom was created to control and supervise the Philippine National Police. In a nutshell, the Napolcom admitted that it has approved of the travel expenses amounting to more than P283,000 per police official as per diem and allowances. But some people are questioning now the source of the ‘contingency funds’ equivalent to about 105,000 euros in the possession of retired PNP comptroller, who was held by Russian customs police at the airport.
As of late, it was learned that the police comptroller was already cleared in Moscow. But legislators in the Philippines are putting their acts together to question the source of the said contingency funds, which according to official sources in the police headquarters were meant for emergency purposes. Nobody is sure now what’s next. However, one thing is clear: those in the possession of the contingency funds would be made to explain before a public hearing when he gets back from the trip. Many are hoping that it did not come from illegal sources like gambling and drug-trade.