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Monday, 8 August 2011

Noy vows only new equipment for PNP

MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino assured members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) that they will get new equipment for their modernization program and not secondhand materiel previously used by some powerful people.

The President was apparently taking a dig at the owner of used helicopters – allegedly former first gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo – who sold them to the PNP at brand new prices. Arroyo has denied the allegations.

In a speech during the 110th service anniversary of the PNP yesterday, the President said the government was taking the necessary steps to modernize the agency.

With the help of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), the President said the government funded the equipment and training needed for the PNP’s capability enhancement program.

“The services and benefits for the police should be given and must be gotten by the police and not by some family who ruled abusively,” the President said.

The President said the administration has been working hard to help the police perform their role better.

“We are now able to gain back the trust of the public and with the reforms we are implementing, with the cooperation of the police officers who had been displaying their integrity in doing what is right, we will not fail,” Aquino said.

Meanwhile, Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said there were recommendations to blacklist the suppliers of rubber and patrol boats involved in the allegedly anomalous PNP procurement.

He said there were also recommendations to blacklist the supplier of the five-year-old, previously owned PNP choppers, which were passed off as brand new.

“The PNP will decide on whether or not to blacklist some suppliers. What I know is that they have recommendations to blacklist the chopper supplier. And there is also pending recommendation to blacklist the suppliers of rubber and patrol boats,” said Robredo.

As per PNP records, Manila Aerospace Products Trading (MAPTRA) supplied the controversial choppers while Geneve, a joint venture between Stoneworks Specialist International Corp., Enviro-aire and Bay Industrial Phils., supplied the rubber boats.

Robredo ordered the PNP last July 12 to file appropriate charges against active and retired police officials and private individuals involved in the anomalous procurement of P131-million worth of rubber boats and outboard motor engines in February 2010.

Robredo said Geneve delivered 41 units of the rubber boats worth P47.7 million, 24 units came from the joint venture between Stoneworks Specialist International Corp. and Enviro-aire worth P27.9 million, and 10 units came from Bay Industrial Phils. worth P11.6 million.

Enviro-Aire cornered the delivery of the 93 outboard motors worth P44.1 million.

Based on investigation, Senior Superintendent Elmo Sarona of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said the contracts were only signed by the firms’ vice presidents – Senen Arabaca for Geneve; Alex Tayao for Bay Industrial and Harold Ong for Enviro-aire.

Sources said the three firms were connected to “influential individuals” in the PNP but Sarona refused to comment on the information.

Sarona said the first bidding was supposed to be held on Feb. 17, 2009 with approved budget of P180 million, but this bidding was postponed due to the lack of technical specifications of the rubber and patrol boats. The PNP was waiting for the improved technical specifications to be released by the Napolcom.

Sarona added that a second bidding on May 26, 2009 was also postponed when the committee learned that the P180 million could be reduced to P136 million.

After the bidding, Sarona said there was supposed to be post-qualification but storm “Ondoy” struck, so the Bids and Awards Committee came up with a resolution recommending the procurement of rubbers boats through negotiation.

The storm left many parts of Metro Manila and neighboring provinces under floodwaters.

“Due to the calamity that we experienced and to expedite the procurement, BAC has a resolution – approval of the head procuring entity,” he explained.

Although Enviro-Aire cornered the negotiated contract, investigators said the deal was split among three suppliers – Geneve, Bay Industrial Phils. and Enviro-aire.

“They claimed the supplier could not supply the needed quantity,” he added. “There was splitting of contracts which is prohibited under RA 9184 or the government procurement act.”

In the rubber boats deal, Sarona said there was no conformity to Napolcom specifications and PNP personnel did nothing when the defects were noted. They also did not initiate any measure to compel the supplier to correct the deficiencies noted.

“We have already interviewed members of the maritime groups as the report on the noted defects emanated from Maritime Group director Chief Superintendent Don Montenegro,” he said.

He also noted that the rubber boats and the engines were not compatible.

“Under the Napolcom resolution, what is required is 40 horsepower, but they delivered 60 horsepower.”

“There could be negligence for failure to exercise prudence and due diligence while these procured items were accepted despite defects noted,” said Sarona.

In the case of the helicopters, he said the chopper pilot did not make any report despite his knowledge that the helicopters were secondhand. – Cecille Suerte Felipe


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