File photo from the Official Gazette of the Republic of the Philippines.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr. on Monday issued a stern warning to police personnel to refrain from soliciting and accepting gifts during the holiday season.

“While we understand that some want to reciprocate our deeds, I said let’s be strict this time. We do not ask because we all know that we are all having a hard time making ends meet. Lots of jobs have been lost and businesses are still recovering,” Azurin said in a press briefing at Camp Crame in Quezon City.

He said personnel found to be engaged in solicitation for the Christmas season would face severe sanctions.

“Definitely they will be administratively charged and they will also be criminally charged under provisions of graft and corrupt practices. Let’s be together, it means we celebrate Christmas, and we can have fun without spending a lot of money celebrating Christmas,” he said.

Solicitation is prohibited under Presidential Decree 46 and a corresponding action will be imposed on any PNP personnel who will be found committing such violation.

Azurin said police personnel is also prohibited from accepting any form of “token of gratitude.”

He also urged the public to avoid giving gifts in any form to the police as a sign of their appreciation.

“Let’s refrain from giving gifts because the police might get used to it. This is why we made it a point to release their bonus early. At the same time, I urge them to spend it wisely because that came from the government. It’s part of the appreciation for their good performance. Let’s not cross more than what we are entitled to, especially if these are prohibited by law,” he said.

The year-end bonus and cash gift of police personnel will be released on Tuesday, which is equivalent to one-month base pay while the cash gift is worth PHP5,000. (PNA)

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