Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tango and Cash! in Moscow!

This time I agree with Justice Secretary Raul Gonzales. In his Business Mirror op ed piece, He says there is something fishy with recently retired Police Gen. Eliseo de la Paz carrying 100K Euros (valued at 6.9 M PhP) in his luggage. Russian customs prevented him from boarding his flight back to the Philippines. de la Paz attended an Interpol conference in Moscow. Sec. Gonzales says it is the first time he heard of a government official on government business carrying contingency funds on his person. There is something very fishy about this.

Hasn't de la Paz heard of wire transfers or bank drafts to pay for hotel and other conference expenses? I am not big time in the government pecking order but when I am on government business representing the Republic, conference fees and hotel expenses are usually prepaid for through the necessary and authorized channels sometimes through our embassy. I never hold any cash save for the usual 300 USD for contingencies and taxi fare (which I have to liquidate with receipts!)

Also being a police officer, hasn't de la Paz heard of standard customs regulations worldwide where you have to declare any amount over 10K USD or its equivalent? In the post 9/11 age with drug and people trafficking galore, it is understandable that customs authorities will have these laws on their books. Almost all immigration and customs cards I have filled in have that warning!

This cash brouhaha has reinforced many Pinoys idea of our own PNP being corrupt like the mob(who have learned not to use electronic banking in this wired age). The PNP has a lot of explaining to do! And don't give us citizens lawyer's chatter.

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