Outraged over the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) purchase of alleged overpriced radar speed guns, President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday night ordered the removal of the police’s procurement power.
Speaking before members of the Philippine Marine Corps in Taguig City, Duterte bared that he called up Interior Secretary Eduardo Año and asked him to be in charge of the purchasing of equipment and firearms instead.
“Tinawagan ko si (I called up) Secretary Año. Sabi ko (I said), ‘Do not allow the police to procure. Ang opisina mo na ang mag-procure (Your office should handle procurement),” Duterte said in his speech.
Duterte ranted about how the PNP spent PHP950,000 per unit of radar speed guns when he could purchase the same type of device in Davao City for only PHP10,000 per unit.
“I said I may be wrong. Pero (But) certainly, PHP950,000 radar is just stupid because ‘yung sa Davao PHP10,000 lang (in Davao it’s only PHP10,000),” Duterte said.
He said he was willing to provide the police force any equipment and firearms they needed as long as they asked.
“Ako, maski anong hingiin ninyo, basta legal lang, ibibigay ko. Walang problema ‘yan (Me, whatever you ask for, as long as it’s legal, I’ll give it to you. No problem),” Duterte said.
In a media interview after his speech, Duterte described as “abominable” how the PNP spent almost a million pesos to purchase the radar speed guns.
Under Año’s helm, Duterte said he expected “no corruption”.
The President, meanwhile, warned other government agencies against using public funds for personal gain.
“It’s a warning, lahat ng mga opisina (to all offices). If you will keep on f****** the people’s money, I will remove the procurement powers sa inyo (in your office),” Duterte said.
Duterte also threatened to establish a Bureau of Supply similar to the one established during the term of former President Ferdinand Marcos.
“I will establish a… Kagaya noon panahon ni Marcos (Just like during the Marcos era). There was this Bureau of Supply,” he said.
According to Duterte, the Bureau of Supply would have a list of all procurements made by the government and its cost.
“Gusto ko ilista lahat. ‘Yung tractor, kung anong gusto mong p***** i**** bilhin, eroplano, ilagay mo ‘yung presyo. ‘Yung international pricing para malaman ko kaagad kung magkano (I want everything listed. The tractor, what you want to buy, airplane, indicate the price. Use international pricing so it would be easy to determine how much). In public,” Duterte said.
Duterte earlier gave Año the “blanket authority” to supervise the PNP, while Lt. Gen. Archie Gamboa stays as PNP officer-in-charge.
The President was confident that Año could help him cleanse the police force.
He admitted that he has yet to appoint a PNP chief but only because he wanted Año to ensure that the police force is corrupt-free before he names its new head.