By Camille A. Aguinaldo
SENATOR Grace S. Poe-Llamanzares has filed a bill seeking an inquiry into the P1.89-billion purchase by the Philippine National Police (PNP) of Indian car maker Mahindra Vehicles’ police patrol jeeps back in 2015.
Senate Resolution No. 777, filed on July 3, directs the Senate Committees on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations and Public Order and Dangerous Drugs to conduct the inquiry. The committees are led by Senators Richard J. Gordon and Panfilo M. Lacson, respectively.
Ms. Llamanzares cited the findings of the Commission on Audit (CoA) in its 2017 annual report, which concluded that the patrol jeeps provided by Mahindra Vehicles were not reliable for police operations, citing as well complaints raised by several regional police offices.
State auditors noted that 206 vehicles were not effectively utilized “due to frequent breakdowns, poor after-sales services, and limited availability of spare parts.”
A total of P59.379 million worth of additional costs were incurred by the PNP in the form of service fees which “could have been otherwise used to acquire approximately 67 units of patrol jeeps.”
“All forms of government misfeasance, malfeasance, and nonfeasance, especially with regard to government funds, must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” the senator stated in the resolution.
“The damage done by the lemon Mahindras compromised security, crippled the police, and left citizens vulnerable,” she added.
Ms. Llamanzares has said she would invite former interior secretary Manuel A. Roxas II and PNP chief Alan L.M. Purisima in the investigation to shed light on the issue.