MANILA – No active military personnel is involved in the alleged sneaking in of some USD370 million (PHP18.7 billion) worth of dirty money into the country, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesperson, Marine Brig. Gen. Edgard Arevalo said Wednesday.
“But (according to) their raw information are yung sumasalubong na ito ay (individuals meeting with these people transporting these huge sums of money are) retired members of the PNP and AFP that are now under the employ of security agencies,” Arevalo said at a “Kapihan sa Manila Bay at Cafe Adriatico” on Wednesday.
This information was obtained from the AFP’s coordination with the Department of Finance (DOF) and Bureau of Customs (BOC).
He, however, said this information is still being verified.
“What we can assure our people, wala pong miyembro (is that no member of the) AFP na bahagi nito at magiging bahagi nito (are part and will be part of this scam),” Arevalo added.
He also noted that the military will not condone any of its personnel who will be proven involved in this scandal.
“We will throw to them the weight of all our books our regulations (against them) and the military justice system,” Arevalo said.
DILG probing cops in dirty money scheme
Meanwhile, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is now looking into reports of police officers’ involvement in the scheme.
“Of course, I will not allow this, I will not allow any PNP (Philippine National Police) officer, personnel to be involved in that, we’ll go after them,” Año said in a phone interview with the reporters.
Año, however, said he has yet to read the BOC’s report on the matter.
“Ako ang maghahabol sa mga ‘yan, kung may names lang (If there are names, I personally will go after them). I can immediately conduct investigation and put these people into custodial investigation (because it is a) serious matter,” he explained.
Earlier, Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez has ordered a probe into the issue after Customs Commissioner Rey Leonardo Guerrero submitted a report to him about the activities of the suspected syndicates
Meanwhile, PNP Civil Security Group (CSG) chief, Maj. Gen. Roberto Fajardo has ordered a crackdown on unauthorized security providers for foreigners.
In a memorandum, Fajardo tasked CSG members to coordinate with local police officer along with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Highway Patrol Group [HPG) on the so-called “colorum” security.
Fajardo said that for any individual, particularly a foreigner, to get security from a private agency or police, a strict process which includes threat assessment and validation should be undertaken.
The BOC earlier said the money was brought in the country between December 2019, and January this year by a Chinese group. (iam/sovereignph.com/With reports from Christopher Lloyd Caliwan/PNA)