By Christopher Lloyd Caliwan

PNP chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil (PNA photo by Avito Dalan)

MANILA – Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rommel Francisco Marbil on Tuesday said he does not see the rumors on the reduction of police officers’ benefits as a demolition job against him.

“Normal naman talaga yung ganito (These things are normal). In fact, we are happy because our personnel are being briefed on what these benefits are. We also tell them, ‘don’t worry, these are your benefits and we will further increase them’,” Marbil told reporters on the sidelines of his command visit to the National Capital Region Police Office headquarters at Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.

The PNP chief’s remarks came after rumors that funds for the rice allowance, combat incentive pay and combat duty pay of police officers would be reallocated.

“That’s not true. We cannot diminish what the government has given. All these funds are in our books and we cannot reduce them. We can add but we cannot reduce them,” he added.

Marbil said the Anti-Cybercrime Group (ACG) is now investigating several posts on Facebook, claiming that he ordered the measure.

“We have our ACG na hinahanap kung sino yung culprit na yun (to find the culprits behind this) Baka (Maybe) they are testing the ground kung gaano kagaling ang ACG natin (how good our ACG is), but of course we will get them soon,” he said.

Uniformed police personnel started receiving an allowance equivalent to 20 kilos of rice per month in 2017 following the order of then-president Rodrigo R. Duterte.

In 2022, President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. also issued an order, authorizing the grant of one-time rice assistance for all government personnel, including police officers.

Meanwhile, Marbil said they are looking for a law firm that would help police facing counter-charges in the performance of their duties.

While noting that a financial institution offered to provide PHP10,000 for each police officer facing a counter-charge, he said this is not sustainable.

“Our Legal Service assists in the filing of cases but when the offenders file counter-charges, that is when our police officers face difficulties and they have to shell from their pockets,” he said. (PNA)