Press Release
July 28, 2011

Blue Ribbon questions PNP on anomalous purchase of choppers

THE SENATE Blue Ribbon Committee grilled officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) on Thursday's hearing for accepting the delivery of second-hand helicopters when the contract specifically mentioned that the so-called Police Light Operational Helicopters (PLOH) should be brand new.

"We cannot comprehend why the PNP paid for these helicopters, using taxpayers' money, at a price for brand new helicopters when two of these choppers are actually more than five years old, flying for hundreds of hours already," Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Sen. TG Guingona III said.

He added that the bidding process itself was suspicious. "The PNP initially wanted three brand new, fully equipped helicopters. After two failed public auctions and one round of negotiations with two prospective suppliers, they changed their requirements without changing the budget to one fully equipped helicopter and two standard helicopters that matched the proposal of one bidder," he said.

During the hearing, Sen. Panfilo Lacson bared that the proposal of the supplier Manila Aerospace Products Trading (MAPTRA) already showed that two of the helicopters were "service center condition" which meant that these aircrafts were pre-owned.

P/Dir. Luizo Ticman, who was the chairman of the PNP Negotiation Committee during that time, claimed that he didn't have any knowledge that the two helicopters already had flying hours and were not brand new.

Sen. Guingona also showed two flight logs in 2004 when one of the helicopters with serial number 1372 carried former First Gentleman Miguel Arroyo and Cong. Mikey Arroyo which then pilot of the said helicopter, PSupt. Claudio Gaspar Jr., confirmed during the hearing.

"This is the same helicopter which was sold to the PNP in 2009 and passed off as brand new," he pointed out.

Sen. Guingona also expressed exasperation that the members of the inspection team who signed the Inspection Report that was the basis for the acceptance of the helicopters were not actually present during the inspection. "Ghost inspection yata ito!"

"But what is really troubling here is that the PNP changed the specifications from three fully equipped police helicopters contained in the original bid to only one brand new, fully equipped and two brand new standard helicopters which later turned out to be second hand and yet, they did not change the amount of P105 million," the Senate Blue Ribbon Chairman concluded.

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