Thursday, November 20, 2008

Euro Generals in Moscow

By Lilybeth G. Ison (PNA)

The House ommittee on public order and safety started Wednesday its inquiry into the so-called "euro generals" controversy.

In his opening statement, Philippine National Police (PNP) Director General Jesus Versoza told the House panel that all police officers who attended the Interpol conference in Moscow have returned the cash advances they made for the trip.

"I have directed the return of the funds that were disbursed to the Interpol participants. The status now is that it is already completed," he said.

He said although these PNP officials who attended the Interpol conference in Moscow are entitled to an allowance as required by law, he still directed them to return the money for the time being "as a sign of good faith" until the Commission on Audit (CoA) determines what amount they are entitled to.

Police Director for Plans Romeo Ricardo, on the other hand, said returning the money does not exempt the officers from presenting a liquidation of their expenses.

"The process of returning the money does not extinguish the process of clearing the cash advances made," he said.

PNP spokesperson Chief Superintendent Nicanor Bartolome earlier said most of the eight officers who attended the Moscow event have returned the cash advances as of November 3.

The officers who submitted the full amount of P274,070 were Ricardo; former Director Eliseo dela Paz; Deputy Director-General Emmanuel Carta, deputy chief for administration; Director Jaime Caringal, Zamboanga regional director; and Director Silverio Alarcio Jr., chief for operations.

PNP Deputy Director-General Ismael Rafanan, chief of the directorial staff, on the other hand, returned a partial amount of P74,000, while Superintendent Elmer Pelobello, deputy chief for operations, returned P150,000. Both officials promised to return the balance within the month. 

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