Verzosa stops cops’ foreign trips

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — PHILIPPINE National Police chief, Director General Jesus A. Verzosa yesterday ordered the suspension of all foreign travels of police personnel pending a review of existing policies on travels outside the country.

“Effective this date, all foreign travels of PNP personnel including those already approved are hereby suspended pending the review of all existing policies, guidelines, procedures, and rules and regulations governing travel abroad,” Verzosa said.

The chief PNP said a special review committee will be constituted to conduct a study on the procedures involved when PNP personnel are sent on official mission abroad to attend police-related functions, study tours, foreign training, and other activities.

This developed as four members of the 8-man PNP delegation who attended the 77th Interpol General Assembly in St. Petersburg, Russia have returned to the country. They are: Police Director Romeo Ricardo, Director for Plans; Police Director German Doria, Director for Human Resource and Doctrine Development; Police Director Silverio Alarcio Jr., Director for Operations; and Supt. Elmer Pelobello, delegation secretariat.

The four officials returned to Manila Wednesday via Beijing where they inspected the office of the RP police attaché to China.

In Moscow, customs authorities are expected to receive today the documents submitted by the PNP thru official diplomatic channels. Russian customs authorities earlier put on hold the 105,000 Euros (P6.930 million) contingency fund of the PNP delegation.

“The forwarded documents, translated into Russian language, include certification of official issuance of the travel funds by the PNP,” Bartolome said.

The PNP spokesman emphasized that “all unused funds have to be returned, and all expenses must be properly liquidated in accordance with government accounting and auditing procedures.”

Among other highlights of the 77th Interpol General Assembly was the launching of the Global Security Initiative (GSI), and delegates adopted it as the Interpol’s platform for 21st century global policing.

The conference was attended by over 1,000 delegates from 156 Interpol-member countries.

The Philippine delegation was composed of eight PNP officials led by Deputy Director General Emmanuel Carta.

Other RP delegates are Undersecretary Rolando Garcia, Executive Director of the Philippine Center on Transnational Crime (PCTC); Commissioner Marcelino Libanan and two other officials of the Bureau of Immigration; and two officials of the National Bureau of Investigation.