MANILA – Five personnel of the Philippine National Police-Health Service (PNP-HS) would face administrative and criminal charges for alleged irregularities in the issuance of psychiatric and psychological examination results for applicants of license to own and possess firearms (LTOPF).
In a press conference in Camp Crame, Quezon City on Tuesday, Civil Security Group (CSG) chief Brig. Gen. Benjamin Silo Jr. said the five personnel -- a police major, three non-commissioned officers and a non-uniformed employee -- would be charged with grave irregularity in the performance of duty, conduct unbecoming of a police officer and grave misconduct before the Internal Affairs Service for manipulating the results of the psychiatric and psychological examinations from August 2022 to February this year.
“We already identified the persons responsible for these irregularities and right now we are filing admin and criminal cases against them before the Office of the Ombudsman. We recommended they should be placed on floating status and right now we already deactivated their accounts,” Silo told reporters.
He added they will also be charged for graft and corruption and violation of Republic Act 11032 or the Ease of Doing Business law before the Office of the Ombudsman.
Silo said 377 applicants who were supposed to get a failing grade "passed" the psychiatric and psychological examinations.
He said the CSG has already revoked the licenses of the applicants.
“Out of the 377, [a total of] 64 had a non-appearance while the remaining 313 actually failed but their test results were manipulated. This was found through an investigation of our computer system and the help of our IT (information technology) experts. We also secured the testimonies of clients being victimized by this group,” said Silo.
Citing the affidavits of some applicants, Silo said some of them paid PHP30,000 to PHP35,000 for the falsified result.
The processing fee for the LTOPF only costs around PHP2,180.
“Well hindi na natin tingnan ‘yung kinikita nung mga luko-luko na ito. Tingnan lang natin ‘yung epekto sa publiko. Kung ang makahawak ng baril (let's not look at the income of these crooks anymore. Let's just look at the impact on the public. If the one who holds a gun) is psychotic, imagine the danger it can give to the public. Imagine if the one holding firearms is [an] addict, you know how big the possible effect of this to the society,” said Silo.
“Right now, we include them in the investigation but as part of our initial response, and actions, we revoked their licenses and firearm registration The board will study it if there are reasons to disqualify them. By all means, we will do it,” he added.
The CSG has started the crackdown on fraudulent means of securing LTOPF and firearms registration as part of the measures to ensure that only qualified people would be allowed to own guns.
It started from an operation in Rizal province where they found a gun owner who was able to secure firearms permit through fraudulent means.
Silo said a thorough probe is underway to identify other police officers who may be involved in the scheme and to determine how long it has been going on. (PNA)