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Año to still handle PNP procurement

MANILA, Philippines — Despite the appointment of a new chief of the Philippine National Police (PNP), Interior Secretary Eduardo Año will still exercise supervisory powers over procurement deals of the PNP.

Año said he would supervise all transactions on acquisitions even as President Duterte has appointed Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa as chief of the PNP.

“I will still supervise the procurement of the PNP to ensure that no corruption will take place,” Año told The STAR.

He said that while the procurement would be reverted back to the PNP, the process would remain under his supervision.

“I will exercise my authority to review all transactions and disapprove questionable deals with appropriate sanctions if necessary,” he said.

Duterte last week stripped the PNP of its procurement powers following alleged overpricing in the acquisition of radar speed guns. 

The President told Año that the Department of the Interior and Local Government would handle the procurement of equipment for the PNP. 

Malacañang said the PNP has to officially submit a written explanation of its plan to procure speed guns that cost P950,000 each.

Año defended the PNP, saying it was only a glaring error in the presentation due to mixed up terms and figures. 

Gamboa, formerly chairman of the bids and awards committee of the PNP, earlier said there was “no problem” in the PNP’s big-ticket projects even as the President removed its procurement powers.

He was officially appointed as head of the police force on Friday, three months after he was designated officer-in-charge following the early retirement of Oscar Albayalde. 


The PNP welcomed Gamboa’s appointment.

PNP spokesman Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said that under Gamboa’s leadership, the police are looking forward to winning back the trust and confidence of the people.

“We assure the public that the PNP will continue to intensify the campaign against criminality, illegal drugs and corruption; follow the rule of law; respect human rights and vigorously pursue internal cleansing to weed the ranks of rogue cops,” Banac said in a statement.

Gamboa said the campaign against illegal drugs and internal cleansing efforts would continue to be a priority of the PNP.

He said it was a great challenge for him to regain the public’s trust following the issue on ninja cops. 

Sen. Panfilo Lacson welcomed Duterte’s appointing Gamboa as PNP chief.

Lacson said Gamboa is more than qualified to be PNP chief since he showed his qualities as a good leader when he was OIC.

Lacson was referring to Gamboa’s fitness policy, denying police officers of schooling for promotion if they do not comply with requirements adopted by the PNP.

He said Gamboa’s policy is a win-win situation for all – except criminals.

Lacson said the internal cleansing in the PNP could be done simply through leadership by example.

Lacson said Gamboa has a huge task on his shoulders, particularly the internal cleansing.

Meanwhile, National Police Commission (Napolcom) vice-chairman Rogelio Casurao urged Gamboa to prioritize the eradication of the culture of corruption in the police force.

Casurao said reforming the PNP should be the number one concern of the new PNP chief as he takes the helm of the police force. 

“Try to reform your ways in the PNP. Try to eradicate the culture of corruption and the culture of  wrongdoing. All other programs will succeed because people in the organization are free of any ill-intent in the government,” Casurao said.

He said it is “most urgent” for Gamboa to undertake the reformation of values to ensure a corrupt-free police force.

Casurao said he is confident that Gamboa would be able to improve the PNP to become a fully reliable police department.

More charges

Aside from the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, more serious charges should be filed against Albayalde, according to Sen. Richard Gordon.

He welcomed the Department of Justice (DOJ)’s announcement that it would file charges for violation of the anti-graft law against Albayalde over the “ninja cops” case. He said the charge is not commensurate with all the offenses that Albayalde has committed.

“It is veritably a positive development that the DOJ recognized that Albayalde has done something wrong and wants to prosecute him. He is the first PNP official who has been charged and found guilty by the Blue Ribbon and now by the DOJ.

“Nevertheless, we feel that the charge is incommensurate with all the offenses he has done. If the charges are made to stand as they are now, and none more serious is added, the DOJ will be seen as mollycoddling Albayalde,” Gordon said. 

Gordon said Albayalde failed to take his men to task and even tried to use his connections to get lighter sanctions for them by calling up various generals who testified against him. 

He said Albayalde committed other violations such as promoting his men and transferring them to key posts where they continued to conduct the same scheme.

 “Remember that the case is filed not merely on behalf of a single person. It is a case against the people, thus, People of the Philippines vs Albayalde. I urge the DOJ to take another look because the acts of Albayalde are more grave than what they are contemplating right now,” he said. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe

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