MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is eyeing to complete the procurement of body-worn cameras to be used during anti-illegal drug operations.
PNP Officer-in-charge Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa on Monday said a post-qualification process is being conducted to six bidders to meet all the requirements.
The body cameras are expected to be delivered in the second or third quarter of 2020.
Initially promised to be rolled out in 2018, Gamboa said the procurement of the P334 million worth of body cameras was delayed for over a year due to an alleged extortion case involving three police officers.
“The funds were released 2018. Nagkaroon ng bidding, may eight proponents but in the middle of the post-qualification, I found out that three of my men in the technical working group were asking money from the proponents,” Gamboa told reporters in a briefing.
He said the anomaly was exposed after one of the losing bidders in the project complained to him as the then chairman of the PNP Bids and Awards Committee.
Gamboa identified the three policemen as Major Emerson Sales, Major Rholly Caraggayan, who are now both AWOL (absent without leave), and Major Angel Beros, who is still in active service.
“Nung na-disqualify, nag-complain sa’kin ‘yung proponent, and then, from then on, I caused the investigation,” he said.
Gamboa said the involved police officers will face criminal and administrative raps and will be dismissed from service.
“Honestly, it’s a setback on the part of the Bids and Awards Committee because I was believing myself na malinis kami,” he said.
“But of course, very isolated naman ‘yung case na ‘yun,” he added.
Vice President Leni Robredo, the newly-installed co-chairperson of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs, earlier reiterated the need for law enforcers to wear body cameras during operations to protect the agents and the operation’s integrity.
Despite the delay, Gamboa said the re-bidding process has already resumed for the project.
The acting top police official stressed the procurement process must be done before the year ends as the 2019 budget is going to expire by December 31. – RRD (with details from Correspondent Harlene Delgado)
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