Año to Albayalde: Get to the bottom of SAF allowance mess and file charges

0
63

Get to the bottom of the P60-million Special Action Forces (SAF) allowance mess and file charges.

This is the first marching order of  Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) OIC-Secretary Eduardo M. Año to new Philippine National Police (PNP) Chief Director General Oscar Albayalde as he assumes office today.

Año says Albayalde should give outright priority in finding out how SAF officials were allegedly able to withhold and deprive SAF troopers of their daily subsistence allowance for several months since 2016.

“This should be his first priority and will serve as litmus test on how he will carry out the internal cleansing program within the police organization,” he says.

Four former SAF officials are now the subject of a complaint before the Ombudsman over the alleged malversation of close to P60-million of funds that are meant for the daily additional subsistence allowance of  SAF troopers for two years.

Año says Albayalde, who had also been part of SAF before, knows firsthand the hardships of being part of the elite force of the PNP and should be able to act decisively on this issue.

“He (Albayalde) is a former SAF commando and official so he knows the struggles of SAF and how they look forward to receiving additional benefits from the PNP,” he says.

According to Año, the PNP should conduct its own fact-finding investigation to ensure that the SAF allowance mess is an isolated case and to craft appropriate policies that will prevent similar incidents from happening in the future.
“This should not happen again,” he says.

Año also instructed Albayalde to ensure that SAF personnel will receive the allowances that are due them. “Find a way on how they could  receive their allowances immediately,” he says.

The DILG chief says Albayalde will need all the support and encouragement in leading the largest law enforcement agency in the country and that the DILG as its “parent department” will provide all the necessary assistance it can give.

The PNP is one of the attached agencies under the DILG together with the Bureau of Fire Protection, Bureau of Jail Management and Penology, National Police Commission, Local Government Academy, and the Philippine Public Safety College.

Earlier, Año welcomed the appointment of Albayalde saying that “he is the right man for the job” and banked on the latter’s success in handling the 20,000 police force under the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).

He said that the challenge of cleansing the police ranks and overcoming the proliferation of illegal drugs in the country will remain as the biggest challenge for the new PNP Chief but is confident that Albayalde will deliver.