PNP sacks officer for delaying cops' food allowance during Pope visit
MANILA, Philippines – A police superintendent has been relieved over the supposed delay in the release of food provisions for a police unit during the visit of Pope Francis in the Philippines.
In a statement, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said its Officer-in-Charge, Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, approved the administrative relief of Police Superintendent Evangeline Martos, budget officer of the Police Security and Protection Group (PSPG).
The PSPG is a PNP National Support Unit that provided close-in security for dignitaries and members of the papal entourage during the Pope’s visit from January 15 to 19, 2015.
According to media reports, members of the PSPG had failed to receive part of their food allowances or allotments during the Pope’s visit. Some PNP personnel had reportedly only received P700 each instead of the P2,400 allotted for their food provisions during the Pope's 5-day stay.
Upwards of 25,000 cops from different regions were deployed in Metro Manila and Leyte to secure routes and areas of engagement during the papal visit.
The PNP said Martos will undergo pre-charge evaluation by the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management. Her relief was recommended by the PNP Director for Comptrollership.
PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilben Mayor also clarified that the funds released for the PNP unit were supposed to be for food provisions, meaning they should not have been released in the form of cash.
But given changes in the deployment plans and the sheer number of police personnel deployed in the sites, some unit commanders were forced to give cash to their troops instead.
Espina, meanwhile, has directed the PNP’s Directorates for Logistics and Comptrollership to create a “standard messing” plan for PNP units for future mass-deployment events such as the upcoming Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) in Clark Freeport in Pampanga.
The Pope’s 5-day state and pastoral visit to the Philippines was one of the PNP’s most massive security and logistical undertakings to date. No major snafus were reported during the visit, save for a few arrests. – Bea Cupin/Rappler.com
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