“Not a problem-solver? Look at all these patrol jeeps for the police.”
This was Interior Secretary Mar Roxas’ reaction to former senator Panfilo Lacson, who had said in a media forum that he perceived Roxas, his possible rival in the 2016 presidential race, as a “problem-analyzer instead of a problem-solver.”
Roxas made the quip as he showed to reporters the 18 patrol jeeps that he turned over to the Central Luzon police at Camp Olivas in Pampanga on Wednesday.
“Totoo po ito na 1,470 na sasakyan sa lahat ng bayan sa buong Pilipinas, kongkreto na patunay sa paglutas natin sa isang problema ng ating kapulisan na wala silang sasakyan para sugpuin ang kriminalidad,” he said.
Roxas led the distribution of the first batch of 1,470 multi-role patrol jeeps he had promised to procure for the 150,000-member Philippine National Police to bolster its operations against criminality and to better respond to disasters.
On Wednesday, 40 patrol jeeps were blessed and turned over to municipalities in Central Luzon–10 for Bataan, 18 for Pampanga and 12 for Zambales.
On Friday, Roxas will distribute another batch of patrol jeeps to the provinces of South Cotabato and Sarangani, both in Mindanao.
Dilapidated units and lack of patrol vehicles prompted the Roxas to acquire the police vehicles, which cost the government P1.3 billion.
The deal, however, raised eyebrows when the PNP allegedly favored Indian-owned Mahindra Group and Columbian Autocar Corp. motors.
In an earlier speech, Roxas said he welcomed an investigation on the procurement of the jeeps, which he said went through the proper bidding process.
For the succeeding batches of patrol jeeps, 245 patrol jeeps will be given to the national headquarters and national support units of the National Capital Region Police Office and Calabarzon police, 377 to police units in Luzon regions, 458 to while police offices in the Visayas and 390 to Mindanao police offices.