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P60-M SAF allowance probed

By Aaron B. Recuenco

Director General Ronald dela Rosa, outgoing chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), senses something fishy over the missing multi-million allowance of police commandos.

Dela Rosa said he talked with all the officials implicated in the missing R60 million worth of daily additional subsistence allowance for thousands of commandos of the Special Action Force (SAF) and he admitted that he was not satisfied with the reasons given.

“I am not satisfied with the reasons they gave when I asked them about it. So they must face the case because a case was already filed before the Office of the Ombudsman anyway,” said Dela Rosa.

Those he talked to, according to him, include former SAF commander, Director Benjamin Lusad, who is included in the case of plunder filed by active and retired SAF officials.

Aside from Lusad, charged were Senior Supt. Andre Dizon, the SAF budget officer; and Maila Bustamante and James Irica of the SAF Finance office.

Based on the complaint, the SAF leadership failed to give the P30/day allowance of the SAF commandos for more than two years despite receiving the fund from the national police leadership. The missing funds amounted to almost P60 million.

Dela Rosa said that there was really something wrong with the way the budget for allowance was handled.

“I am not prejudging the case because there is an ongoing investigation (by the Ombudsman) but the way I see it, there was really a problem because it will not become an issue if there was none,” said Dela Rosa.

“So we really have to go to the bottom of it and this is already being done by the Ombudsman,” he added.