For the first time in decades, 4×4 fully-equipped patrol jeeps – for peace & order as well as disaster management – were made a priority by the national government.
Casting aside patronage politics, Mar made sure that these patrol jeeps were given to all municipalities regardless of political affiliation. It did not matter if you were a member of the Vice President’s political party or a municipality which did not make the President or Mar win during the 2010 elections.
To quote Mar:
Sa pamamahagi po ng police patrol jeep, wala po tayong pinipili. Hindi ko po tinatanong ang partido, o kung sino ang mayor. Ang basehan po natin ay ang pangangailangan ng mga bayan para naman masiguro ang progreso ng mga probinsya.
A meme circulated on Facebook, alongside various newspaper columns (e.g. Philstar), claimed that Mar Roxas, then DILG Secretary, made money out of the procurement of “overpriced” patrol jeeps. Let’s first forget that portion above regarding genuine public service. Instead let us focus on the wanton allegations that:
That the alleged actual price of each jeep is P0.6M.
That the PNP, under Mar, allegedly acquired each for P1.9M.
That each jeep was allegedly overpriced by P1.3M.
That allegedly there were 1000 jeeps purchased.
That Mar allegedly gained P1.3B from the transaction.
Nothing can be further from the truth.
The actual facts are simple and easily verified:
There were 1,470 jeeps purchased.
The average price per jeep, as modified to suit police / emergency operations, was around P0.9M.
Instead of the claimed overpricing, there was actually savings done! The government saved over P93M from the transaction.
A meme was made by a volunteer site to highlight this to wit:
Note that when Mar was confronted with the issue, he immediately welcomed any probe on the matter. No probe materialized because there was nothing to probe.
James Deakin, known critic of anything related to transportation, had this say about the issue after he broke down the costs of the patrol jeeps:
[On] the surface, [the patrol jeeps do] seem outrageously overpriced. Especially when judging from a grainy photo or meme that just shows the noses of all the cars. But after seeing the breakdown, and considering all the PNP requirements, cost of money etc, personally, it seems to me that while the PNP may not have gotten the deal of the century, it is not entirely unjustifiable.
In other words, the amounts are justifiable.
The government, showcasing its own answers, has produced its own Q&A for easy reference.