By Aaron Recuenco
Director General Ronald dela Rosa, outgoing chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Monday assured the Special Action Force that they will get the daily subsistence allowance the police commandos failed to receive for more than two years now.
But dela Rosa said they no longer have intention to investigate the alleged missing P60 million in the daily additional subsistence allowance amounting to P30 per day since a case was already filed before the Office of the Ombudsman.
“We will leave it to the Ombudsman so that the criminal aspect and the administrative aspect of the investigation is done by the Ombudsman,” dela Rosa said in an interview.
The case stemmed from the complaints of former and active SAF officials who alleged that the SAF under the leadership of former SAF commander Director Benjamin Lusad had failed to release the allowance despite receiving the fund.
A case of plunder was already filed against Lusad and several other SAF officials — budget officer Senior Supt. Andre Dizon, finance officers Maila Salazar Bustamante and James Rodrigo Irica.
Dela Rosa said he was upset upon learning of the complaint and immediately talked with the involved officers.
He however did not divulge the defense of the people involved, including Lusad.
“He (Lusad) gave an explanation to me but since a case was already filed, we will let the Ombudsman take care of the investigation,” dela Rosa said.
It was learned that the fund intended for daily subsistence allowance of the SAF commandos was reportedly realigned to the good allowance of SAF commandos guarding the National Bilibid Prisons.
A total of two battalions of SAF are currently deployed t the NBP, the deployment started after reports of the continuous illegal activities of convicted drug lords who are reportedly in cahoots with erring prison guards and officials.
On the other hand, the other officers involved also gave an assurance to dela Rosa that the allowance will be returned.
“That is true. Regardless if the case was already filed or not, according to the Budget and Fiscal officer of SAF and the director of SAF, they will return those being asked by the troops,” dela Rosa said.
“So they should relax. They should not grumble, everything will be taken care of by the incoming leadership,” dela Rosa added, referring to his successor, Director Oscar Albayalde.
Albayalde, it was learned, is a former SAF commando. He will take the PNP helm on April 19.
But this early, dela Rosa said the filing of the complaint does not mean that all the allegations in the complaint are true.
“I felt bad. I was really mad. it does not mean that when a case was filed, everything is true. We will know the truth through the Ombudsman,” said dela Rosa.
Pressed on the truthfulness of the complaint, dela Rosa said it is difficult at this stage to prejudge the case.
“What is now known is the side of the accuser. Let us hear the side of the accused. So what is really needed is a proper investigation of the case,” dela Rosa added.