Press Release
June 19, 2006


Senate Minority Leader Aquilino Nene Q. Pimentel, Jr. (PDP-Laban) warned police authorities that they risk being charged criminally for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corruption Practices Act (Republic Act 3019) if they pursue their intent to procure patrol cars, motorcycles and handguns totally worth P322 million without the benefit of public bidding.

The equipment will be used by police forces that will secure heads of states and other dignitaries who will attend the 12th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit to be held in Cebu City in the first week of December.

Pimentel said the decision to set aside public bidding in favor of negotiated procurement and direct contracting could not be justified by the PNPs claim that there would be no sufficient time to purchase the needed equipment if it will be done through regular bidding process.

They cannot use the excuse that they have no time to do it. They have time to do it. All they have to do is to make sure that the terms and conditions for the acquisition of the items are clear and transparent and the laws on public bidding are complied with, he said.

Pimentel said the PNP authorities cannot use the alibi of lack of time because they should have known earlier that the ASEAN summit would be held in Cebu City in December.

Also, dont tell me that if they are unable to acquire the items, they cannot provide security for the summiteers, the minority leader said.

What the police can do is make do with what they have, mobilize the arms and the resources they have for that purpose. If they cannot do so, then they should ask that the summit is transferred elsewhere.

Pimentel also stressed that the PNP should set the example for enforcing the laws, including those that are meant to prevent irregularities in the disbursement of public funds and procurement of equipment and supplies.

We cannot sacrifice what the law requires on the basis of the inability of the police authorities to comply with the law. The police should be the first to obey the law. Otherwise, we are faced with a police force that would show the world that their officers are above the law. And that is a terrible indictment on the kind of governance and civilization that we have in this country, he said.

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