Published On: Mon, Nov 11th, 2019

P5-million extortion case sabotages PNP’s bid for body cameras

Three cops involved in the extortion case have been sacked

Published 9:42 AM, November 11, 2019

Updated 9:47 AM, November 11, 2019

DELAYED. The procurement of thousands of body cameras is delayed by 3 cops who allegedly extorted from a possible supplier. File photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

DELAYED. The procurement of thousands of body cameras is delayed by 3 cops who allegedly extorted from a possible supplier. File photo by Rambo Talabong/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Initially promised to be rolled out in 2018, thousands of body cameras have been delayed for over a year already because of a P5-million extortion case, Philippine National Police (PNP) officer-in-charge Lieutenant General Archie Gamboa announced on Monday, November 11.

Gamboa said 3 police majors, namely Emerson Sales, Rolly Caragayan, and Angel Beros have been sacked and are expected to face administrative and criminal complaints.

What happened? The PNP wanted to obtain at least 12,000 body cameras by June 2018 with a budget of P334 million.

Gamboa said that some time in 2018, a disqualified bidder of the body cameras approached him and complained about 3 cops asking for P5 million in exchange for a favorable procurement. Gamboa was then the Bids and Awards Committee chairman under the leadership of former police chief and now senator Ronald dela Rosa.

Why this matters. The body cameras are a hallmark policy of the PNP in its promise to reduce if not completely eradicate abusive killings by the police force in the unrelenting anti-drug campaign.

The budget was requested in 2017 after the killing of teenager Kian delos Santos was caught on tape by a CCTV camera. The case remains to be the only conviction of cops implicated in a “drug war” killing. The procurement of body cameras came with the promise of preventing police abuse in the ongoing anti-drug campaign. – Rappler.com

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