Poser to PNP: Have 3 majors in P5M extort been dismissed?

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    THREE police majors who allegedly extorted P5 million from a supplier that participated in the public bidding for body cameras to be used in the war against illegal drugs were supposed to be dismissed from the service yesterday.

    As of 4 p.m. yesterday, however, PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa had yet to sign the dismissal order, according to PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac.

    Earlier yesterday, Gamboa, in an interview at the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame, told reporters that “Today, I will sign their dismissal,” referring to Majors Emerson Sales, Rholly Caraggayan and Angel Beros.

    Gamboa said the three, all erstwhile members of the Technical Working Group of the PNP’s Bids and Awards Committee, have 10 days to appeal their dismissal.

    “As I have promised, we will be transparent. Those who are answerable, especially those who are corrupt, will be dismissed swiftly, as fast as we could,” Gamboa said, adding, however, that personnel who are doing a good job will be recognized.

    Banac said the dismissal of the three majors was recommended to Gamboa by the PNP’s Internal Affairs Service that looked into their case.

    The three supposedly sought P5 million from an unidentified supplier early this year, apparently for preference in the bidding for 3,000 units of body cameras, worth P334 million.

    Congress provided the funding for the body cameras in 2018, a year after public clamor for transparency in the conduct of anti-drug operations by the police force intensified.

    Gamboa, then the BAC chairman, had said the supplier reported the extortion to him after it was disqualified from the bidding, along with seven other proponents, for failure to meet the specifications set by the PNP.

    Gamboa said he ordered the relief of the three officers as soon as he learned about the supposed extortion. Sales and Caraggayan went on absent without official leave when they were placed on administrative investigation.

    Gamboa had said the PNP has evidence to pin down the three, noting that checks were issued by the supplier in the name of the erring officers. He said the administrative case against the officers is on top of the criminal charges that may be pursued against them, noting the government’s sincerity in its anti-corruption drive.

    The PNP has revised the specifications for the body cameras after the initial bidding processes failed. Gamboa said the revision led to the participation of six proponents in the new process.

    However, the lowest calculated bidder had been disqualified for failing to meet the required documents. The second lowest calculated bidder is currently undergoing post-qualification process.

    Gamboa has instructed the BAC to obligate the money allotted for the acquisition of the body cameras before December 31, otherwise it will have to be returned to government coffers.