MANILA, Philippines—A senior non-commissioned officer of the Philippine National Police (PNP) has been relieved from his post pending an investigation into his alleged misuse of gas coupons meant for the police force.
PNP Public Information Office head Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the officer, whose name he did not disclose, has been in the force for 30 years and has the rank of Senior Police Officer 4 (SPO4).
He has been removed from his office at the logistics unit of the Internal Affairs Office (IAS); the agency designated to investigate cops for administrative offenses.
“IAS Director Alexander Roldan has ordered a probe into the issue and has talked to the policeman in question as well,” he said, adding that he may face the administrative charge of misconduct and the criminal charge of misappropriation of funds.
The controversy stemmed from a Facebook post made by the man’s purported son last Friday. The post contained a photo of two gas slips along with the statement “Gas supply when in PH.. Thanks Pa.”
The post quickly went viral, as netizens blasted the poster for misusing government funds.
With the gas slips’ serial numbers, the PNP was able to trace the source back to the erring policeman.
While admitting that even non-commissioned officers are issued gas slips, Cerbo said the coupons are supposed to be used only for the PNP’s official vehicles and are reserved for official functions only.
“They should not be abused and used for personal purposes,” he said.
He said every PNP unit is allocated a certain amount of gas every quarter. If they run out before being re-supplied, then they have to provide the gas for themselves.
He also allayed fears of this being a widespread practice.
“Speaking from experience, this is an isolated incident, and I believe the IAS can cleanse its own ranks,” he said.