Lacson to Año: Probe, unmask cops in purchase of ‘overpriced’ speed guns
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Panfilo Lacson prodded Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday to investigate and unmask those involved in the alleged “overpriced” speed guns procured by the Philippine National Police (PNP).
In an interview at the Senate, Lacson backed President Rodrigo Duterte’s move to remove the PNP’s procurement power after exposing that it bought speed guns worth P950,000 per unit when it costs only P10,000 per unit in Davao City.
“First, the President has all the reason to feel aggrieved kasi he’s always been generous sa (to) PNP pagdating sa (when it comes to) support, equipment, and even salary, allowances, lahat binigay (he gave them all). So we cannot also blame the President to feel that way,” he said.
Lacson said the President has a legal basis to withdraw the procurement power of the PNP as long as Republic Act 9184 or the Procurement Law is not violated.
“And rightly so kasi kung may ganoong (because there’s this kind of) misbehavior when it involves public funds, dapat lang talaga alisin ang authority (you should really remove that authority),” he said.
Despite the cases previously filed against erring cops, the senator lamented that corruption still exists within the PNP.
“Kaya some people never learn dahil may mga nakasuhan na, hindi na nila malaman when to stop and how to stop. Hindi lahat pero especially those in the logistics family ng PNP and even the AFP, talagang laging may reports na lumalabas na may overpricing,” he said.
(That’s why some people never learn, because some have been charged already and then they don’t know when to stop and how to stop. Not all, but especially those in the logistics family of PNP and even the AFP, there always reports of overpricing)
When he was the PNP chief, Lacson recalled how he would warn the winning bidder against bribing people or lose the chance of signing another contract with the government.
Lacson also believes that punitive actions against erring cops work better than preventive or just simply giving them constant reminders.
“Dapat ipakita na kung may ganyan dapat talagang makulong kasi yan ang deterrent. Hanggang walang nakikitang nakukulong sasabihin nila kaya namang malusutan,” he said.
(We should really show them that they would get imprisoned because that’s the deterrent. They would think they could get away with it if they see no one ends up in jail)
“So dapat ito, after the President has already announced na wini-withdraw niya ang procurement authority from the PNP and having exposed yung ganoong kalaking overpricing, dapat it should be incumbent upon Secretary Año na gumawa ng investigation and find out who are responsible.”
(So after the President has already announced that he’s withdrawing the procurement authority from the PNP and having exposed that overpricing, it should be incumbent upon Secretary Año to conduct an investigati and find out who are responsible)
For its enhancement fund alone, Lacson noted that the PNP has been given up to P10 billion or P2 billion annually.
“Tama lang yan, tama lang na i-withdraw hanggang hindi naimbestigahan nang maayos,” he stressed.
It seems that corruption, the senator said, has already evolved into “ultra-greed.
“Kailangan ma-determine ni Secretary Ano ang time frame na nire-refer ng Pangulo sa overpricing na sobra-sobra. Hindi lang heads should roll. Some people should really go to jail,” Lacson added.
(Secretary Año should determine the time frame being referred to by the President on the overpricing allegation. It is not enough that heads should roll. Some people should really go to jail)
Edited by MUF
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