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OMB re-affirmed preventive suspension of the six officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on anomalous offshore travel to Russia

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The Office of the Ombudsman re-affirmed the six months preventive suspension of the six officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for their alleged anomalous offshore travel to Russia on October 7 – 11, 2008.

          In a 13-page Order, Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez upheld its earlier Order placing Special Disbursing Officer Samuel Rodriguez; Finance Service Director Orlando Pestano; Budget Division Director Tomas Rentoy III; Police Superintendent Elmel Pelobello; Directorate for Human Resources and Doctrine Development Director German Doria; and Directorate for Operations Director Silverio Alarcio, Jr. under six-months preventive suspension without pay.

          The said PNP Officers were earlier charged with Grave Misconduct, Dishonesty, and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service.

The charges stemmed from their alleged anomalous participation in the official mission of the PNP in the 77th Interpol General Assembly held at the St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.

The respondent PNP officers were allegedly disqualified to travel offshore pursuant to Administrative Order No. 103 (Continued Adoption of the Austerity Measures in the Government ) and Executive Order 459 (mandating compliance with AO 103), and Sec. 16 (c) of the General Provisions of the 2008 General Appropriations Act (Travel Ban on Retiring DND and AFP Officials and Employees).

          They were also accused of receiving travel allowances in the amounts more than the daily subsistence allowance permitted by the prevailing rules, and falsifying the acknowledgment receipts covering their travel allowances that were charged against the PNP Confidential and Intelligence Funds in the liquidation of their expenses.

          It was also alleged that the PNP Officers used regular machine readable passports which constitutes a violation of the Passport Law (RA 8293) in relation to Sec. 2 ( c ) of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs Dept. Order No. 11-97, diverted routes contrary to the submitted and approved itinerary, and took business class plane tickets instead of economy in going to St. Petersburg.

          Pelobello was alleged to have prepared the computation of the travel allowances of the delegates without consideration on the limits provided in the UNDP Index on the daily subsistence allowance and the prevailing average exchange rate at the time the request for funding was submitted for approval.

          His unwarranted claim of the official/obligatory participation of the respondents’ spouse to the Interpol Gen. Assembly despite the fact that the records and assemblage do not call for their involvement was also asserted.

          Rodriguez, Rentoy and Pestano allegedly disbursed anomalously government funds, specifically  the total amount P2,192,560 taken from the PNP Confidential and Intelligence Funds, for the travel allowances of the respondents delegates.

          Rentoy had filed a motion for reconsideration on the Order placing them under preventive suspension for alleged lack of actual and legal basis.

But Ombudsman Gutierrez denied the said motion. In the Order, she said “there exists no sufficient ground to reverse the Order placing the respondent-movant under preventive suspension for a period of six months without pay.”

          The Ombudsman ordered PNP Chief Police Director General Raul Bacalzo to implement the Order within five days from receipt of the same. 

The Office of the Ombudsman re-affirmed the six months preventive suspension of the six officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) for their alleged anomalous offshore travel to Russia on October 7 – 11, 2008.

 

          In a 13-page Order, Ombudsman Ma. Merceditas N. Gutierrez upheld its earlier Order placing Special Disbursing Officer Samuel Rodriguez; Finance Service Director Orlando Pestano; Budget Division Director Tomas Rentoy III; Police Superintendent Elmel Pelobello; Directorate for Human Resources and Doctrine Development Director German Doria; and Directorate for Operations Director Silverio Alarcio, Jr. under six-months preventive suspension without pay.

 

          The said PNP Officers were earlier charged with Grave Misconduct, Dishonesty, and Conduct Prejudicial to the Best Interest of the Service.

 

The charges stemmed from their alleged anomalous participation in the official mission of the PNP in the 77th Interpol General Assembly held at the St. Petersburg, Russian Federation.

 

The respondent PNP officers were allegedly disqualified to travel offshore pursuant to Administrative Order No. 103 (Continued Adoption of the Austerity Measures in the Government ) and Executive Order 459 (mandating compliance with AO 103), and Sec. 16 (c) of the General Provisions of the 2008 General Appropriations Act (Travel Ban on Retiring DND and AFP Officials and Employees).

 

          They were also accused of receiving travel allowances in the amounts more than the daily subsistence allowance permitted by the prevailing rules, and falsifying the acknowledgment receipts covering their travel allowances that were charged against the PNP Confidential and Intelligence Funds in the liquidation of their expenses.

 

          It was also alleged that the PNP Officers used regular machine readable passports which constitutes a violation of the Passport Law (RA 8293) in relation to Sec. 2 ( c ) of the Dept. of Foreign Affairs Dept. Order No. 11-97, diverted routes contrary to the submitted and approved itinerary, and took business class plane tickets instead of economy in going to St. Petersburg.

 

          Pelobello was alleged to have prepared the computation of the travel allowances of the delegates without consideration on the limits provided in the UNDP Index on the daily subsistence allowance and the prevailing average exchange rate at the time the request for funding was submitted for approval.

 

          His unwarranted claim of the official/obligatory participation of the respondents’ spouse to the Interpol Gen. Assembly despite the fact that the records and assemblage do not call for their involvement was also asserted.

 

          Rodriguez, Rentoy and Pestano allegedly disbursed anomalously government funds, specifically  the total amount P2,192,560 taken from the PNP Confidential and Intelligence Funds, for the travel allowances of the respondents delegates.

 

          Rentoy had filed a motion for reconsideration on the Order placing them under preventive suspension for alleged lack of actual and legal basis.

 

But Ombudsman Gutierrez denied the said motion. In the Order, she said “there exists no sufficient ground to reverse the Order placing the respondent-movant under preventive suspension for a period of six months without pay.”

 

          The Ombudsman ordered PNP Chief Police Director General Raul Bacalzo to implement the Order within five days from receipt of the same.-30- Jose T. De Jesus Jr.

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