DILG Secretary Eduardo Año. (File photo)
MANILA — Interior Secretary Eduardo Año on Tuesday assured that corruption has no place in his department, as well as its attached agencies and bureaus.
President Rodrigo Duterte earlier ordered the removal of the procurement power of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and asked Año to take charge of the purchase of equipment and firearms for the police force.
“Under my watch, I will not allow corruption in all the bureaus under DILG (Department of the Interior and Local Government). I abide by the wisdom of the President and I will follow his instruction,” Año told Philippine News Agency (PNA) when sought for a comment.
Duterte ranted about how the PNP would spend 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.
Año said the PNP made a very glaring mistake in its presentation during the last Joint AFP PNP Command Conference by mixing up terms and figures.
“But I believe it was an honest mistake. I ordered PLt Gen Archie Gamboa to explain and submit a report to the President,” he said.
He added that PNP has done all its procurement properly in the last two years.
In a press briefing in Camp Crame, PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Bernard Banac said what the PNP presented during its recent command conference with the President was a mere “wishlist” and has not undergone procurement process.
“Hindi pa final ang proposal. ‘Yun lang at na-present nang maaga, hilaw pa presentation at sa pagmamadali, nai-present sa Pangulo [It was not final and it was a proposal which was presented early. The presentation was still unripe and we presented it to the President],” Banac explained.
Banac said they were surprised that the President approved their presentation immediately.
The item being referred to was the Micro Digital Photo/Video Laser Tech System being used now by other countries like the United States and Israel which has an average cost of PHP1 million per system.
This is in compliance with the President’s order to take measures to reduce road accidents.
In a media interview after his speech before members of the Philippine Marine Corps in Taguig City Monday, Duterte described as “abominable” how the PNP would spend 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.
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.
He said 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 …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),” Duterte said.
Duterte earlier gave Año the “blanket authority” to supervise the PNP, while 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. (PNA)
Photo Credit: Philippine News Agency