The Office of the Ombudsman will investigate Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa because of his all-expense paid trip to Las Vegas, courtesy of Senator Manny Pacquiao.
“Sige lang imbestigahan ako,” Dela Rosa told reporters while he was in Davao City before he flew back to Manila.
“Makulong ao dahil sa imbitasyon? Tingnan natin,” he added.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said on Thursday that the Office is investigating the PNP chief for any possible liabilities on his part. Dela Rosa believes that there is nothing wrong with accepting the invitation of Manny Pacquiao, who invited him to Las Vegas for his most recent victorious match, since public funds were not used for the trip.
“Ang important hindi ako nagkurakot ng kwarta,” he said.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Mike Sueno defended the PNP chief saying that Dela Rosa’s trip was permitted by President Duterte himself.
“He asked permission naman from the president. Saka on leave naman siya, hindi naman counted as official duty din ‘yung pagpunta sa Las Vegas,” Sueno said.
One of University of the Philippines College of Law’s professorial lecturer, Lawyer Arno Sanidad, said that there are at least two laws that Dela Rosa may have violated. Presidential Decree No. 46 and Republic Act 6713 or the code of conduct for public officials are laws that prohibit public officials from accepting gifts.
Sanidad said that the main purpose of this law is to make it punishable to accept or solicit gifts in order to prevent public officials to have any possibility of corruption and graft.
“The provision prohibits mainly giving ‘by reason of the office’ for present or the possibility of future favors, or even without these conditions. That is why it prohibits giving and receiving on any occasion, even Christmas,” he said.
“The spirit and purpose of the law is not to allow giving and receiving gifts at all…so as to prevent the even slight possibility of corruption or graft,” Sanidad added.
Senator Manny Pacquiao, for his part, said that he sees no wrong in funding the trip to Las Vegas of his friends that happens to be public officials, stating that Bisayas are usually like that.
“Alam mo kaming mga Bisaya, ok lang ‘yan ilibre kesa gumawa ng kalokohan. Alam mo ‘yun, kaming mga Bisaya ayaw namin kalokohan, mas mabuti pa manlibre ka,” Pacquiao said.
Source: (gmanetwork.com, rappler.com)