Espina sacks budget officer over delayed disbursement of food provisions for COPS.
MANILA, Jan. 24 — Philippine National Police officer-in-charge, currently Deputy Director General Leonardo A. Espina, approved Friday the administrative relief of a police budget officer over allegations of delayed disbursement of food provisions for PNP personnel deployed for security operations during the recent five-day visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines.
Espina acted swiftly on the recommendation of the PNP Director for Comptrollership to place Police Supt. Evangeline Martos under administrative relief pending investigation.
Martos is erstwhile budget officer of the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG), a National Support Unit that was tasked to provide close-in security to dignitaries and members of the papal entourage.
On instructions of Espina, Martos will also undergo Pre-Charge Evaluation by the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM).
This developed as an investigation into the alleged delay in disbursement of food provisions during the five-day police operations is still ongoing.
For his part, PNP spokesperson Chief Supt. Wilben Mayor clarified that the fund support released by the National Headquarters to PNP units involved in the operations was for “food provisions” and not as individual “meal allowance.”
“It was not supposed to be given out as cash to police personnel, but was supposed to be allotted as provisions for food for the troops,” Mayor said.
However, because of the changes in the deployment plan and the exigency of the situation prompted by the sheer volume of police personnel that was deployed in the papal events, some unit commanders, considering the peculiarities and demands of each area, decided to give cash instead. (PNA)