Who Will Police the Police Generals?

Manila Bulletin, October 21, 2008 | Go to article overview

Who Will Police the Police Generals?


ACCORDING to the PNP spokesman/apologist in Manila (a one-star general) the Interpol convention in St. Petersburg, Russia was on their drawing board some three months before October 1 or at least before the generals left NAIA.

Retired in Russia

De la Paz reached retirement age in the middle of the conference, a fact known for "ages" to the entire PNP command, including Senator Ping Lacson, who attained PNP's four-star status before he entered politics. (According to a PMA alumnus, De La Paz was sophomore when Lacson graduated at the top of his class.)

Napoleon, general at 24

Readers are not interested in the average age of the generals, whether 50, 51, or 55. Bonaparte earned a battle promotion to brigadier general at age 24 at the siege of Toulon, December, 1793. He was born in 1769 and was named by US historians second greatest commander of all time after Alexander the Great (356-323 BC); third greatest was Julius Caesar (100-44 BC). Robert E. Lee, MacArthur and Eisenhower were listed in the middle of 10 greatest generals of all time. But a retired general cannot be designated delegation treasurer, just like an assistant treasurer of a city or town who cannot be named treasurer after retirement at age 65.

Tax money held in trust

Treasurers (also called comptrollers) in the AFP, PNP, national and local governments hold in trust taxpayers' money and cease to have that same trust after retirement - at 56 in the AFP and PNP or 65 in the civil service. Before retirement they are asked weeks before to render a strict accounting of tax money in their vault, like cash advances, etc.

No automatic extension

The so-called extension of service (for a day, a week) is not automatic, but subject to formalities. In the case of a general only the president can extend his service beyond the 56th year. All the generals combined, say 20 of them, cannot authorize De la Paz to stay a minute longer - so to speak.

No hold-over

The doctrine of holdover to keep the PNP purse, in the absence of legislation, will not apply.

The PNP apologist further informed TV and radio anchors that each general in the delegation has a field of expertise and will answer questions knowledgeably. Question: What is the field of expertise of a treasurer like De la Paz? Was his post as treasurer part of Interpol deliberation in St. Petersburg?

'Window on Europe'

Let's have a few lines about a city founded by Peter the Great in 1703 as a "window on Europe," and was the capital of Russia from 1712 until 1918. …

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