Jinggoy, Chiz proposed inquiry on AFP modernization acquisition projects scheduled tomorrow

Senate committees on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (Blue Ribbon) joint with National Defense and Security, and Finance will conduct an inquiry on alleged irregular acquisitions of military equipment and weapon systems as mandated in the AFP Modernization Act.

The inquiry – scheduled tomorrow, April 6 at 10:00 am – will tackle Department of National Defense’s allegedly irregular acquisition of armored personnel carriers and reported anomalous acquisition of twenty one units of refurbished UH-1 helicopters.

The DND partially terminated the chopper deal after the contractor, US-based Rice Aircraft Services Inc and Canada-based Eagle Copters Ltd, failed to comply with the agreed delivery schedule. Only 8 of the 21 choppers were successfully delivered.

“There are reports that said aircrafts are bereft of technical capabilities that will enable our Air Force to fulfill their tasks and responsibilities; there are also allegations of irregularities in the bidding and negotiation of the contract, with some senior DND officials and PAF officers allegedly received “kickback” or “commissions” from the said project,” detained Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada said in his proposed Senate Resolution No.1245.

While Senator Chiz Escudero said in his proposed Senate Resolution No.1234, “the
AFP has allegedly acquired obsolete, used and decommissioned military equipment and weapons systems which include, among others, armored personnel carriers and weapons platforms; the AFP has likewise supposedly procured such equipment and systems in violation of the procurement law, RA No. 9184, by not subjecting the same to public bidding and committing ‘splitting of contracts.'”

Both senators said that acquisitions were done contrary to AFP Modernization Act which says “the acquisition of new equipment and weapons systems, shall be synchronized with the phase-out of uneconomical and obsolete major equipment and weapons systems in the AFP inventory.”