‘Contingency fund’ in Russia – Verzosa

PHILIPPINE NEWS SERVICE — THE P7-million supposed “contingency fund” of the National Police delegation to the International Police conference in Moscow was seized by Russian authorities pending result of the anti-money laundering case against retired Gen. Eliseo dela Paz.

Philippine National Police Chief Director General Jesus Verzosa said that contrary to the statement made by Dela Paz, the latter has failed to “wire” the money since it is being held by Russian authorities since the beleaguered former PNP comptroller is facing a money laundering case in Moscow.

Verzosa made the clarification when Senate Majority Floorleader Francis Pangilinan asked him about the money. To which Verzosa said: “What I understood was that he (Dela Paz) requested that it be wired.”

“So, nandoon pa yung P6.9 million sa Russia?” asked Pangilinan. To which Verzosa replied: ”That’s right your honor.”

“Dahil ang alam kong sitwasyon doon sa Russia and perhaps just to clarify iyung nabanggit kanina nung chairman (Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago) , ang kaso yata (ni Dela Paz) sa Russia is money laundering. This is a serious international criminal offense kaya hindi basta-basta pina-kawalan,” Pangilinan said.

“Although nagkaroon daw ng representations from the (Philippine) ambassador. That’s why we want to know kung anong status ng kaso and we want to get the information from our ambassador (Garcia) to Russia as well as the Russian ambassador to the Philippines,” he added.

Pangilinan said that under the anti-money laundering law, Dela Paz’s case should be investigated by the Anti Money Laundering Council.

Meanwhile, for a poor country like the Philippines — with only one vote allowed — Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago is aghast that the government sent 17 delegates to the 77th Interpol conference in Russia last week.

According to the Department of Foreign Affairs, the Philippine delegation to the recent Interpol was made up by PNP – 9; National Bureau of Investigation – 5; Bureau of Investigation – 3. “Samakatwid 17,” Santiago said

“Seventeen! From a poor country when every country has only one vote. Grabe naman kayo. P’wede ba ipadala sa isang official trip with all of these expenses ang isang magre-retire na kasi ang comptroller at treasurer niyo si Dir.Dela Paz na ayaw pumunta ngayong umaga?” Santiago fumed.

“Maski ipagmalaki niya na ‘I have nothing to hide, I will appear in all investigations tapos bigla na lang ngayong araw may motion to quash and motion to dismiss. Ano yun? Mag-aartista ba siya o nahimasmasan siya? Pumunta siya rito kung wala siyang kasalanan,” she added.

Santiago was amazed that for six days De la Paz was carrying P9 million pesos — about P3 million for actual expenses of the PNP delegation and P7 million as contingency fund.

She noted that Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno approved P2.3 million for the nine-man PNP delegation to the Interpol meeting — alloting P283,512 per person.

“Biro mo kapag bibyahe ka gagastos ang gobyerno ng P300,000 para sa iyo lamang. P300,000 para ka magbyahe sa St.Petersburg na hindi naman sila nag-lecture doon o naging kandidato roon. Nanood lang sila,” she added.