Vice President reiterated on Sunday that government officials and employees are prohibited by law from accepting gifts in any form, following President Duterte’s latest remark urging cops to ignore the anti-graft law and accept money as long as it is given out of generosity. 

Allowing public officials and employees to accept gifts—whether directly or indirectly—is against the law and will contribute to corruption in government, stressed VP Leni. 

“Mayroon tayong tinatawag na Republic Act [No.] 6713. Ito iyong code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees. Doon nakalagay talaga, very specific na iyong public officials at saka employees, hindi puwedeng mag-solicit, hindi puwedeng tumanggap ng kahit anong regalo,” VP Leni said in her weekly BISErbisyong LENI program over DZXL RMN 558 radio.

“Ang batas sinasabi, bawal—bawal magtanggap. Kasi ito iyong pinagmumulan ng korapsyon. Ito talaga iyong [dahilan] kaya mayroong ganitong batas na ganito kasi ito talaga iyong pinagmumulan ng [korapsyon].”

“Lalo na sa pulis, ‘di ba, lalo na sa pulis. Kasi talagang ito iyong nakaka—parang biased dahil tumanggap ka,” she added. 

VP Leni was reacting to President Duterte’s message before the members of the police force during the 118th Police Service Anniversary last Friday (Aug. 9), where the President said he would not consider as bribery the act of giving cops gifts to reward them for what they have accomplished. 

She then cited an experience where she had to turn down donations from her supporters who initiated the “Piso Para Kay Leni” campaign to cover her expenses for the electoral protest defeated vice presidential candidate Bongbong Marcos filed against her. 

Over 25,000 supporters of VP Leni who joined the fundraising campaign were able to raise P7.5 million but she was forbidden by the Supreme Court from accepting the donation. The money was instead used by her supporters to fund the construction of the Angat Buhay village in the war-torn city of Marawi to provide homes for the residents displaced by the months-long siege there. 

“Siguro paalala lang natin Section 7(D) ng Republic Act [No.] 6713, sinasabi talaga niya na hindi puwedeng tumanggap directly or indirectly kahit daw anong regalo, gratuity, pabor, entertainment, iyong ano, Ka Ely, iyong mga pa-inom, iyong good time, bawal iyon,” VP Leni said. 

“Bawal ka ring umutang sa isang tao na mayroong kaso sa iyo. [B]awal mong utangan iyong konektado sa trabaho mo na halimbawa, iyong alam mo na, iyong sa pulis, sa judges. Halimbawa may kaso sa iyo, bawal kang tumanggap, umutang o kahit ano man,” she added. 

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