Three police officers are facing dismissal for allegedly extorting money from bidders of the PHP334 million worth of body cameras being procured by the PNP.
Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa identified the three cops as Majors Emerson Sales and Rholly Caraggayan, who are now both AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave); and Angel Beros, who is still in active service.
Gamboa said the alleged illegal activities of the three officers were exposed by one of the losing bidders in the project.
Gamboa said he, as the chairman of the PNP Bids and Awards Committee, uncovered said irregularity when one of the eight initial bidders who were disqualified complained to him.
He said the proponent had paid at least PHP5 million to the policemen who were members of the technical working group, only to find out later on that they were disqualified from the bidding.
“So when the proponent was disqualified, they complained to me. From then on, I caused the investigation. I caused them to be relieved from their position as technical working group. I displaced them but they were charged administratively for doing so,” he told reporters during Monday’s press briefing held in Camp Crame.
“Kasi sabi ko nga sa kanila (As what I told to them), we are trying to prove that government procurement can be clean and here are you putting a very bad example and I promised to the members of the BAC that I will dismiss these three police majors and they are now undergoing administrative proceedings. I think within the month of November we will be coming up with their verdict but I am sure that they will be dismissed because this is also part of our anti-corruption campaign in connection of course with the President’s call for anti-corruption measures,” he stressed.
Aside from administrative charges, Gamboa said he also instructed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to file criminal charges against the three cops.
He said they have obtained evidence including bank checks issued under the name of the policemen which will be part of the filing of charges.
No bidder has so far been selected by the PNP.
Gamboa said six suppliers are undergoing post-qualification process to meet all the requirements and are expecting the body cameras to be delivered in the second or third quarter of 2020.
“Sabi ko (I said), it should be before December 31. We must be able to obligate the money. Out of the six proponents who joined, the first lowest calculated bidder was already disqualified by reason of eligibility documents. We are now on the second bidder undergoing post-qualification but I have already given a directive to the new chairman of the BAC that we should be able to obligate the money come December 31 so if it will be successful, delivery could come in 2nd or 3rd quarter of next year,” Gamboa said.
“These body cameras can be used in checkpoints. So hindi lang siya (it is not only) for anti-drug operations. (This is for) all law enforcement functions and even combat operations kasi ang sa tingin namin mas magagamit namin ito (because we think it can also be used) to determine and review our policies based on the execution of lower units in implementing our rules of engagement and rules on procedures,” he said.
The procurement of body cameras started in 2017 following a public clamor over doubts on the police claims that the drug suspects killed in their operations had tried to engage them in a gunfight.
Congress funded the PNP with more than PHP300 million for procurement but efforts to obtain these cameras since last year would always fail until the extortion attempt was exposed. (PNA)