It looks like the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) Mahindra Enforcer patrol vehicles are proving to be more of a headache rather than being useful.

Apparently, all of the 1,656 Enforcer patrol units (as well as the 398 Scorpion transport vehicles) were found to be ‘defective’ and ‘overpriced’ by the Commission on Audit (COA).

Based on COA’s report, both the Enforcer and Scorpion vehicles were not performing up to standard and were struggling to keep up with every day duties. The minimum standard specifications (seating capacity, along with engine output and displacement) meant it had slow acceleration and overall poor engine performance. Beyond those, the patrol vehicles also lacked spare parts and have bad fuel economy.

Purchased in 2015 for a total of Php 1.8 billion, all of the patrol vehicles were bought by way of the PNP’s Capability Enhancement Program in March and December of the same year. In review, the Mahindra Enforcer is powered by a 2.5-liter four-cylinder turbo-diesel engine that produces 101 PS and 240 Nm of torque. 

However, the PNP is pointing the blame of purchasing the said vehicles to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM). According to PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Benigno Durana, they should not be faulted for the purchase of the Mahindra vehicles as they only specified the necessary specifications.

“In fact, the purchase by the Mahindras was made by the procurement service of the Department of Budget and Management. What we did is actually in partnership with the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM). We submitted the specifications of the requirements that we need as far as transportation is concerned. They approved it. That was the basis of the procurement of the vehicles”, said Durana in a report.

Durana also added that COA’s report was based on findings submitted by the PNP. He even mentioned that all the PNP did was follow standard procedure in requesting of new patrol cars based on what was legal and allowed under the specifications they needed.

With this development, the PNP has stated that they will cooperate with COA in order to start a probe into the matter. Also, the Office of the Ombudsman have also launched a separate probe on this procurement fiasco.