Philippine National Police officer-in-charge, Lt. Gen. Archie Francisco Gamboa on Monday ordered the dismissal of three police officers from the service for allegedly extorting money from bidders for the procurement of P334-million body cameras for the police force.
Gamboa officially signed the dismissal order against Majors Emerson Sales and Rholly Caraggayan, now both AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave) and Angel Beros, who is still in active service.
“Today I will sign their dismissal from service, of course, they have 10 days to appeal my decision to me, but what do you expect? After that, they can appeal at the national appellate board,” Gamboa told reporters on the sidelines of a blessing ceremony for newly procured police equipment at the PNP Grandstand, Camp Crame in Quezon City.
Gamboa said this measure proves that the PNP would swiftly dismiss those involved in corruption.
“But of course, we also award those who did good in the service,” he added.
Gamboa said the alleged illegal activities of the three officers were exposed by one of the losing bidders in the project.
As the chairman of the PNP Bids and Awards Committee, Gamboa said he uncovered said irregularity when one of the eight initial bidders who were disqualified complained to him.
He said the proponent had paid at least P5 million to the policemen, who were members of the technical working group, only to find out later on that they were disqualified from the bidding.
Criminal charges will also be filed against the three cops, Gamboa said.
Meanwhile, Gamboa wants to finish the bidding process of body cameras by the end of this year.
He previously said that the PNP was eyeing to use 3,000 units of body cameras in anti-illegal drug operations by the second or third quarter of next year.
The five suppliers are currently undergoing post-qualification to meet the requirements.
The PNP procurement includes accessories, video management software, computer servers, and storage and connectivity systems for the body cameras.
“The PNP will not only procure body cameras but a sophisticated, reliable, and secure system which will allow complete system management, real-time, live streaming, data storage, and backup and overall connectivity and monitoring,” Gamboa said.
He added that a central data center, a National Management and Monitoring Center, 17 Regional Monitoring Centers and 81 Provincial Monitoring Centers will be built to support the systems of body cameras.
The PNP is eyeing to buy more protective gear to support its anti-drug operations.
However, Gamboa said that with the departmental use of the body cameras, the PNP also has to balance it with the provisions of the Data Privacy Act.
The procurement of body cameras started in 2017 following a public clamor over doubts on the police claims that the drug suspects killed in their operations tried to engage them in a gunfight.
Congress funded the PNP with more than P300 million for procurement but efforts to obtain these cameras since last year had so far always proved futile until the extortion attempt was exposed.