PNP has own Napoles, Ma'm Arlene?

By Non Alquitran, The Philippine Star

Posted at Mar 20 2014 09:24 AM | Updated as of Mar 20 2014 05:24 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Philippine National Police (PNP) may have its own alleged influence peddler, just like Congress has Janet Lim-Napoles and the judiciary has “Ma’m Arlene.”

At Camp Crame, “MJ” is a Filipino-Chinese businessman reported to be a power broker known as the “Little PNP chief,” sources said yesterday.

Just as Napoles and Ma’m Arlene reportedly threw lavish parties for politicians and members of the judiciary to seal deals and win contracts, MJ does the same for police generals, insiders said.

A Camp Crame source who claims to be privy to MJ’s influence-peddling activities alleged that MJ directly lobbies for the approval of deals and contracts with top PNP officials.

“Even in promotions of police officials, he has a big say. That’s how powerful this man is,” said a ranking police official who claimed he once experienced MJ’s generosity.

Licensed to deal

Among the deals allegedly brokered by MJ is the signing of a memorandum of agreement between the PNP and Werfast Documentation Agency for the delivery of firearms licenses issued by the Firearms and Explosives Office (FEO).

Retired police general Ireneo Bacolod, who used to head the PNP Civil Security Group (CSG), the unit that has administrative supervision over the FEO, is the president of Werfast.

Bacolod was the “former boss” of PNP chief Director General Alan Purisima when the latter was still assigned with the CSG.

In May 2011, Werfast Documentation Agency offered its services to the FEO as its official courier service to deliver the licenses to gun owners after the PNP discovered anomalies in the processing of licenses.

The PNP wanted to make sure that by getting Werfast, the license would be delivered directly to the applicant.

The FEO allegedly received numerous complaints on Werfast’s service, ranging from delayed deliveries or non-delivery of licenses; non-issuance of official receipts; its reported use of LBC, another courier firm, and its high delivery charge.

According to reports, the PNP discontinued Werfast’s services as of yesterday.

In defense of Werfast

In a recent press briefing, Purisima defended Werfast, saying a number of people were adversely affected by the strict implementation of reforms in the FEO and this is why Werfast has been the subject of criticisms.

There are reports that MJ instructed regional and provincial police directors to have their men accompany LBC couriers delivering licenses.

“That’s how influential he is (MJ). He can issue orders to ranking police officials,” said a Camp Crame source.

Purisima recently ordered the closure of FEO satellite offices in a bid to rid the PNP’s list of gun license holders of fictitious claimants.

As a result, gun owners – whether residing in Metro Manila or in far-flung provinces – had been obliged to renew their licenses at the FEO headquarters in Camp Crame and wait for the licenses to be delivered by Werfast.