PNP defends 'expensive' radar speed guns

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Tuesday, January 14, defended its proposal to acquire radar speed guns which are more expensive, saying these have better specifications than those currently used in Davao City.

But PNP spokesperson Brigadier General Bernard Banac also said the organization is prepared to abide by the decision of President Rodrigo Duterte and comply with the procurement rules.

The PNP is proposing to acquire radar speed guns that cost P950,000 per unit.

“Actually hindi yun ang tinutukoy natin ‘yung ordinary na speed gun na maaring may halaga na P10,000. Ang proposal ng PNP ay actually isang micro digital camera laser system,” Banac said in a press conference.

Banac said the PNP has already submitted to the Office of the President their explanation for the higher cost.

He also said the amount is not final yet.

“Hindi iyun ang final amount dahil hindi pa nga ito dumaan sa bidding so wala pang submission ng iba't ibang bids ang proponents so actually hindi pa final ‘yung proposal. Yun lamang at na-present ng maaga ng mabilisan, masasabi natin hilaw pa ‘yung presentation ay yun nga lamang sa pagmamadali ay nailabas ng PNP at na-present kaagad at ito ay naging dahilan ng pagkakaroon ng misunderstanding,” said Banac.

“Well nagpahayag na ang Pangulo ng kanyang pasya at meron na syang desisyon na alisin ang procurement of equipment at tayo ay nakahanda na tumalima base sa mga umiiral na procurement rules and systems sang-ayon sa ating mga umiiral na batas kaya tayo po ay nagpapaliwanag din upang maintdindihan ng ating publiko kung ito ay hindi sinasadya,” he added.

(That was not the final amount. We still have to conduct a bidding and invite proponents to submit their bids. The presentation that the PNP made during the command conference was hastily done and was not complete yet. But the President has spoken. We will abide by his decision and we are prepared to comply with the procurement rules.)

During a command conference at the Malacañan Palace on January 7, the PNP presented to Duterte their “wish list”, which includes the procurement of radar speed guns.

Banac said the proposal was immediately approved by the President.

However, on Monday, Duterte expressed disappointment over possible overpricing after he learned that the speed guns which they bought in Davao City in the past cost only P10,000 each.

This prompted Duterte to direct Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año to supervise and lead the procurement processes of the national police agency.

For his part, Año said he will follow the order and vowed that he will not allow corruption activities in the agency.

“Under my watch, I will not allow corruption in all the bureaus under DILG. I abide by the wisdom of the President and I will follow his instruction,” he said in a message to reporters.

He said the PNP made a “very glaring mistake” in its presentation.

“But I believe it was an honest mistake. I ordered PLt Gen Archie Gamboa to explain and submit report to the President,” he said. Gamboa is the PNP officer-in-charge.

(SunStar Philippines)