PNP: Duterte misunderstood, 'overpriced' speed guns just on 'wish list'
MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police said on Wednesday, January 14, that President Rodrigo Duterte's order to remove its procurement power stemmed from a "misunderstanding" over an item on the PNP "wish list" that the Chief Executive thought had been purchased already.
In a press briefing on Tuesday afternoon, PNP spokesman Brigadier General Bernard Banac said that the controversial speed gun that angered Duterte was just part of the PNP's wish list for 2021, which was why the PNP got "surprised" by the President's reaction.
“The presentation is still in its early stages, so we were surprised to get a [reaction] from the President even if the procurement plan was not yet ready,” Banac said in a mix of English and Filipino.
A wish list gone wrong: In his speech before the Philippine Marines on Tuesday, January 13, Duterte said he was angered by the PNP's purchase of speed guns worth P950,000, when they could purchase them for only P10,000 each.
Banac said on Wednesday that the proposed purchase had yet to be carried out and was only part of a presentation made by PNP’s Directorate for Operations on the need for a P950,000-micro-digital camera laser system. This was in line with the President's directive to reduce the number of road accidents.
Asked what made the laser system special as compared to the cheaper handheld speed guns, Banac said that it was “more advanced.”
What now? The PNP is awaiting for an order from Interior Secretary Eduardo Año, whom Duterte had ordered to take over the PNP's procurement until the police regain his trust. The PNP has sent Año and Duterte the same explanation, Banac said.
Banac said the procurement season begins in August. He added that the PNP had taken Duterte's order to be limited to big-ticket items only, which means that menial office supplies would not have to go through the office of Año. – Rappler.com