MANILA – Vice President Leni Robredo contradicted President Rodrigo Duterte, who said that police officers can accept gifts, especially from people expressing gratitude.
Robredo cited Republic Act 6713 (RA 6713), or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, that prohibits government officials and employees from accepting gifts in any form.
“It’s there, it’s very specific that public officials and employees cannot solicit or receive any kinds of gift,” Robredo said on Sunday.
Under RA 6713, government employees are prohibited from receiving gifts “in the course of their official duties or in connection with any operation being regulated by, or any transaction which may be affected by the functions of their office.”
“These laws are safeguards against corrupt practices, and compliance is important, especially among cops. Especially for the police, acceptance will reek of bias,” Robredo said.
Duterte last week said he found no problem with cops receiving gifts, especially from people expressing their gratitude for their work.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo defended Duterte by pointing out RA 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, which enumerates exemptions from anti-graft provisions.
“Unsolicited gifts of nominal or insignificant value not given in anticipation of, or in exchange for, a favor from a public official or employee are likewise an exemption under RA 6713,” said Panelo./PN