3 cops face dismissal for extortion

CEBU. Photo shows one of six body cameras donated to the Cebu City Police Office in December 2017. (Photo by Amper Campaña/SunStar Cebu)

THREE ranking police officials face dismissal from service for allegedly extorting money from bidders of the P334-million body cameras procurement contract, Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa said on Monday.

Gamboa said administrative charges have been filed against policemen Emerson Sales, Rholly Caraggayan and Angel Beros, all with the rank of major.

He has also ordered the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) to file administrative charges against the three.

Sales and Caraggayan have gone on absence without official leave (Awol). Beros is still on active duty.

Gamboa said the anomalies in the procurement process contributed to the delay in the acquisition of body cameras. The procurement was approved in 2017 yet, but delivery is expected in the second or third quarter of 2020.

Congress approved in 2018 a budget of P334 million for the purchase of 12,000 units of body cameras.

Gamboa said he, as the chairman of the PNP Bids and Awards Committee, found out about the anomalies when one of the eight bidders who were disqualified complained to him.

He said the proponent had paid at least P5 million to the three policemen who were members of the technical working group, only to find out later that they were not qualified.

“So nung na-disqualify nag-complain sa akin ‘yung proponent and then from then on kaya I caused the investigation. I caused them to be relieved from their position as technical working group. I displaced them but they were charged administratively for doing so,” he said in a press conference in Camp Crame.

“Kasi sabi ko nga sa kanila we are trying to prove that government procurement can be clean and here are you putting a very bad example and I promised to the members of the BAC that I will dismiss these three police majors and they are undergoing now administrative proceedings," Gamboa said.

"I think within the month of November we will be coming up with their verdict but I am sure that 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,” he added.

Gamboa said they have obtained evidence, including bank cheques issued to the policemen. These will be used to support the charges.

Procurement of body cameras for policemen was approved in response to a public clamor for transparency in anti-drug operations following the killing of 17-year old Kian delos Santos.

The teenager was killed by Caloocan policemen who claimed that he resisted arrest. Witnesses, however, said, the boy was on his knees and in a prone position while begging for his life when he was shot in the head.

Gamboa said the body cameras would be used in all law enforcement operations.

“Ang departmental use nito puwede nga namin ito i-deploy sa checkpoints eh. So hindi lang sya for anti-drug operations, all law enforcement function and even combat operations kasi ang sa tingin namin mas magagamit namin ito to determine and review our policies based on the execution of lower units in implementing our rules of engagement and rules on procedures,” he said. (SunStar Philippines)


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