Escudero decries India made police cars
By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – Senator Francis Escudero promised to investigate the procurement of defective and questionable made in India cars the national government bought for the national police. CONTROVERSIAL PATROL CAR. The India-made CAC Mahindra’s Enforcer patrol cars like the one in photo is being questioned by Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero as being defective and dangerous because it was a conversion of a right hand drive vehicle to a left drive car.
Escudero said the 1,470 units of CAC Mahindra’s Enforcer Patrol Cars that were converted from right hand drive to left hand could endanger its passengers.
“India is a right hand drive vehicles’ country, ”he told media men here Thursday.
The Department of Budget and Management approved the P1.3 billion budget for their procurement of the patrol cars.
He said when the driver maneuvers the wheel to the right, the right front wheel does not jibe with the direction of the driver.
“Because it was converted, it is easy to maneuver the driving wheel of this car to the left side compared to the right side. When you do u-turn it should always be in the left otherwise it would be risky if you make a u-turn at the right side,” he stressed.
Escudero said the government should not to put into peril the lives of police men or soldiers by providing them substandard vehicles like Mahindra.
“Sisilipin namin iyan, lalo na sa (Senate) budget deliberation na ito,” he said.
He questioned also the signal lights of the vehicle. He cited a case in his province Sorsogon where the signal light of the car blinks on the right side despite the driver turning on the left button.
The other questions the senator wanted to ask those responsible for the procurement are the numbers of cars that have been sold to the Philippines before the government bought them, the availability of their spare parts in the country, the capacity of local mechanics to fix them in the places where they are designated, the terms of reference on the bid if the foreign maker had sold 200 thousand to 300 thousand cars in the country before the DBM approved their purchased.
According to ACAC Mahindra’s President Felix Mabilog Jr, as quoted by TopGear website, most of his bidding competitors were dealers and CAC Mahindra was the only car distributor.
Unlike the dealers who would have had to outsource the conversion of the vehicle body, CAC Mahindra–being a distributor and not a dealer–was the only bidder with an assembly plant facility to have its patrol units’ bodies done locally in its factory.
“That was our advantage over our competitors,” Mabilog said. “The Enforcer’s bodies were factory-made here.”
Mabilog said many in the Philippines did not like CAC Mahindra.
“Some of our competitors really spent money to put down Mahindra. Check the bidding records. The vehicle requirements for bidding were adjusted three to four times not for our benefit, but to put us at a disadvantage.”
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