Dela Rosa made the disclosure as he continued to defend President Duterte for saying that police officers can accept gifts if they are given out of gratitude or generosity so such could not be considered bribery.
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Lacoste shirt, lechon OK as gifts for Bato dela Rosa in PNP
Paolo Romero (The Philippine Star) - August 13, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa yesterday admitted he accepted gifts from grateful people he had helped when he was still an official of the Philippine National Police (PNP).

Dela Rosa made the disclosure as he continued to defend President Duterte for saying that police officers can accept gifts if they are given out of gratitude or generosity so such could not be considered bribery.

“The President is a practical person and I’m practical, too. I admit I received (gifts) before,” Dela Rosa, a former PNP chief, said in Filipino in an interview with radio station dzBB.

The senator said the issues being raised against Duterte’s statements were a “small matter to be paid attention to.”

“Gifts are a small matter. It’s happening anywhere, everywhere. It’s in our culture,” he said.

Dela Rosa also served in Davao City when Duterte was mayor there. He retired from the PNP in 2018.

Dela Rosa recalled several instances where grateful families of victims gave gifts, like food, or offered office equipment to him and his men, after helping them.

One time, the family of a kidnap victim went to their station in Davao City and brought food, including lechon (roasted pig), to thank them for rescuing their child.

In another case, the victim of a home robbery whom they were able to help offered to replace their computer or repair the station’s dilapidated comfort room.

“What was I to do? Tell them that we’ll not eat (their food) because it’s forbidden? I’d be a hypocrite if I say that I did not accept,” Dela Rosa said.

“Those (gifts) were not asked by the police, they’re voluntarily given to help the work of the police, why should we not accept (them)?” he added.

Dela Rosa also admitted receiving gifts, some of which could be considered as expensive, like a Lacoste shirt, from his friends in motorbike riding and shooting groups.

The senator, however, also warned that PNP officials should be careful in accepting gifts that may have strings attached or may conflict with their duties.

He said the spirit of the anti-graft law or Republic Act 3019 that gifts should not be accepted if there is “conflict of interest” or will be used to enrich oneself in a government post.

Dela Rosa added that the one who gave the gift, especially from a person known to be connected to illegal activities, might ask for a favor in return.

Sen. Francis Pangilinan on Sunday said Duterte’s permission for police officers to accept gifts will only make them “more abusive and corrupt.”

Pangilinan warned that if Duterte’s order will be followed, “there will come a time when policemen will not act if there is no grease and the police will only side with the rich who can afford a lot of grease.”

GIFT LACOSTE SHIRT LECHON PNP
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