PNP insists: No wrongdoing, only ‘wrong’ term
MANILA, Philippines — A matter of wrong semantics and not actual wrongdoing.
This was how the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) explained the “glaring mistake” in the Philippine National Police purchase of laser speed guns that led President Rodrigo Duterte to strip the PNP of its procurement power.
The President on Monday ordered the DILG to take over the PNP’s procurement power, saying that the P950,000 speed guns that the police had purchased cost Davao City only P10,000 per unit.
In a statement on Wednesday, DILG spokesperson Jonathan Malaya explained that the PNP “unfortunately used a wrong term in their presentation to the President. They used the term ‘laser speed gun,’ but according to PNP officer in charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, what they were requesting (was) the Micro Digital Photo/Video Laser Tech Speed System being used by advanced countries like the United States and Israel that cost an average of about P1 million per system. It can capture up to 15,000 images of moving vehicles and build a database.”
Malaya said the PNP wanted to acquire the latest equipment to stop speeding, drunk driving and overloading, which typically cause road accidents, and sought Duterte’s clearance for the purchase of speed detection systems, breath analyzers and mobile weighing scales.
But everything was still “in the preprocurement stage … and no funds have been disbursed,” Malaya said.
At a press briefing in Camp Crame on Wednesday, Gamboa said the PNP would follow the President’s directive which, he said, poses no problem.
“Out of 15 items for 2020, 11 have actually been procured and ready for award,” he said.