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PNP: Investigation ‘deterred’ Yolanda corruption

Bea Cupin

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Almost 3 months after Secretary Lacson first revealed alleged cases of corruption in Yolanda-hit areas, no charges have been filed against erring local officials

NO CHARGES YET. Rehabilitation Secretary Panfilo 'Ping' Lacson says local officials are taking advantage of rehabilitation funds. Lacson and PNP, however, admit it's "hard to find concrete evidence." File photo by Odd Andersen/AFP

MANILA, Philippines – Police officials on Tuesday, March 4, admitted it was difficult to pin down local government officials who are allegedly taking advantage of rehabilitation efforts in areas devastated by Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan).

In a press conference, Philippine National Police Crime Investigation and Detection Group (PNP CIDG) acting director Police Chief Superintendent Benjamin Magalong said it was “hard to find concrete evidence” in alleged corruption cases tied to Yolanda rehabilitation efforts.

Na-acknowledge rin ni Secretary Lacson na mahirap talaga without the evidence,” said Magalong. (Secretary Lacson acknowledged it’s hard [to file charges] without evidence.)

Still, Magalong said Rehabilitation Secretary Panfilo Lacson’s earlier statements worked in deterring officials. “Nataranta rin, yung ang importante doon, na-pre-empt,” he added. (What’s important is that they panicked, they were pre-empted.)

Barely a week into assuming office as the country’s “rehabilitation czar,” Lacson said “unscrupulous lower-ranking officials” were already taking advantage of the funds being released. Lacson said he wanted to file cases against guilty officials. He requested both the PNP and the National Bureau of Investigation to investigate the matter.

Sa ngayon, hindi pa,” said Magalong when asked if any charges have been filed against erring officials, almost 3 months after Lacson’s revelation. (As of now, no cases have been filed.) 

Previously, Magalong told senators during a hearing that Lacson “never mentioned any name” but said the secretary “mentioned there is a probability that there exists a collusion.”

Magalong said the CIDG would be investigating alleged cases of overpricing in the construction of bunkhouses in Yolanda-hit areas. In their previous investigations, they found that contractors didn’t overprice bunkhouses but used substandard materials.

He added that the costing of the bunkhouses would be fixed. “Hindi natalo ang gobyerno,” he added. (The government wasn’t shortchanged.) –

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Bea Cupin

Bea is a senior multimedia reporter who covers national politics. She's been a journalist since 2011 and has written about Congress, the national police, and the Liberal Party for Rappler.