NEGROS Occidental Vice Governor Jeffrey Ferrer is backing on the statement of President Rodrigo Duterte for members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to receive gifts.

“There’s nothing wrong for police to receive gifts. I am also giving gifts. It’s given so if they receive, there’s nothing wrong about it,” Ferrer said.

But he said payola is different. He sad gifts come from the heart, but if the gifts are meant for bribery, it is already a different story.

Ferrer said he has also been giving to the PNP even cars used for their operation in tracking down criminals.

Duterte said earlier that there is nothing wrong if police officers would accept “gifts” from people grateful for their work, adding that receiving gifts given out of gratitude could not be considered a violation of the law.

The statement of Duterte has drawn various reactions.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo has clarified Duterte’s “accepting-gifts-not-bribery” remark, saying the chief executive was only referring to unsolicited gifts given “as a mere ordinary token of gratitude or friendship.”