Lifestyle check for rogue cops eyed

MANILA-- A senator is calling for a lifestyle check among Philippine National Police (PNP) scalawags after it was revealed that SPO3 Ricky Sta. Isabel, primary suspect in the abduction-killing of Korean businessman Jee Ick-Joo, declared over Php 17 million net worth despite his Php 8,000 monthly salary.

Sen. Grace Poe wanted Sta. Isabel and other cops facing charges for the slaying of Jee namely PNP Anti-Illegal Drugs Group Chief Supt. Rafael Dumlao, SPO4 Roy Villegas, Ramon Yalung, among others to get lifestyle checked.

Poe said that it was suspicious how Sta. Isabel also had Php 14 million assets, Php 2 million worth of properties, owned five houses, a four-story commercial building, three cars and one motorcycle despite his meager income.

This piece of information about Sta. Isabel was revealed by PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Director Chief Supt. Roel Obusan during the Senate inquiry into Jee's killing held Thursday.

Sta. Isabel said that his wife Jinky, a law graduate, was responsible for earning most of their income to run their businesses including lotto and remittance businesses.

Senators, however, found his statement suspicious.

Poe meanwhile said that with the freedom of information in the Executive and a civilian head in the PNP Internal Affairs Service (IAS), she will request for the statements of assets, liabilities and net worth (SALN) of the accused cops.

"Gen. (Ronald) Dela Rosa said that he has a list of all rogue policemen. Maybe we can start with that list. Let us compare their SALNs," Poe told reporters.

Sen. Panfilo "Ping" Lacson, chair of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, said that it was also questionable why Sta. Isabel needed to be represented by a lawyer from the Public Attorney's Office (PAO) when it seemed like he could afford his own legal counsel.

PAO supposedly offers free legal counsel to indigent persons who cannot afford lawyers.

Lacson stressed that the PNP-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) should exert more effort to discipline and dismiss cops involved in criminal activity.

He also said that he believed Dela Rosa could redeem the reputation of the PNP if efforts to cleanse the police ranks were at par with efforts to eliminate the illegal drug trade. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency