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EDITORIAL - Crime and punishment.

It's been nine years, but at least sanctions are being handed down in connection with a corruption scandal in the Philippine National Police. Last Thursday the Supreme Court released a decision it promulgated on Nov.

20, 2017, affirming the dismissal from the PNP of 14 mostly ranking police officers in connection with the allegedly anomalous procurement of three helicopters for nearly P105 million in 2009 and 2010.Prosecutors say the deal was brokered by Jose Miguel Arroyo when his wife Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was the president. Two of the helicopters, allegedly owned and used by the former first gentleman, were passed off as brand new and sold to the PNP.

A third pre-owned helicopter was later also sold to the police, with the officers who have been dismissed implicated in the approval of the procurement.The dismissal of the 14 stemmed from the administrative charges filed against them.

In addition to their dismissal, their retirement benefits have been forfeited and they are permanently barred from holding public office.They still face trial together with the former first gentleman for the criminal case, and they could still end up behind bars.

Two of the 14 are two-star directors: Leocadio Santiago Jr. and George Piano.

Two others are one-star chief superintendents: Luis Saligumba and Herold Ubalde. Three are senior superintendents and one is a superintendent.

All have thrown away their careers and reputations for going along with a deal that if the accusations are correct was foisted on them by the president's husband.The fate of the 14 should serve as a cautionary tale not only for PNP members but also for all other workers in government.

No one is in power forever. When faced with an illegal proposal from higher officials or influential persons, public servants must say no.

element-invisibleOpinion ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1This is important for cops in particular, since enforcing the law is their job description. Better yet, they can blow the whistle on such indecent proposals.

And the best response is to file charges against anyone who tries to involve a police officer, who is sworn to uphold the law, in an illegal activity.

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Publication:Philippines Star (Manila, Philippines)
Article Type:Editorial
Date:Feb 3, 2018
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