3 PNP majors face ouster over P5M extort on body cameras

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    THREE police majors are facing dismissal from the service after they allegedly extorted P5 million from a supplier that participated in the public bidding for the acquisition of 3,000 body cameras, worth P334 million, for the use of cops in the war against illegal drugs.

    PNP officer in charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa, in his capacity as chairman of the PNP Bids and Awards Committee, said he recently ordered the relief of the three – Majors Emerson Sales, Rholly Caraggayan and Angel Beros. They are officials of the committee’s Technical Working Group.

    Congress had allotted P334 million for the acquisition of body cameras for cops in 2018, a year after the public clamor for transparency in the conduct of anti-drug operations by the PNP intensified.

    Gamboa said they opened the public bidding last year and eight proponents participated.

    However, all eight were disqualified because their products failed to meet the specifications set by the PNP.

    “When disqualified, the proponent complained to me (about the actions of three officers) so I caused an investigation against them. I displaced them but they were charged administratively for doing so,” Gamboa said.

    Sales and Caraggayan have gone absent without official leave, according to PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac, who added the action of the three officials were discovered “early this year.”

    “I told them we are trying to prove that government procurement can be clean and here are you putting a very bad example. They are undergoing now administrative proceedings,” said Gamboa, adding a decision on their case may be known later this month.

    “But I am sure 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,” said Gamboa.

    Gamboa said the dismissal proceedings against the three officers will be on top of the criminal charges that will be filed against them. “Appropriate criminal cases will also be filed (against them),” he said, adding the PNP has evidence against the three. “We have evidence against them. There were even checks issued in their name.”

    Gamboa said he didn’t immediately announce the extortion allegedly committed during the “post-qualification” stage “because honestly, it’s a setback on the BAC, because I was believing myself that we are clean. But of course that case is very isolated.”

    He said the PNP BAC has revised its specifications after the initial bidding process failed, adding the revisions led to the participation of six proponents in the new bidding.

    “The first lowest calculated bidder was already disqualified by reason of eligibility documents. We are now on the second bidder under post-qualification,” the PNP chief added.