Senator TG finds accusations on UH-1 helicopter-deal ‘disturbing’

Senate Blue Ribbon chair Senator TG Guingona finds “disturbing” the accusations of Rhodora Alvarez regarding the allegedly tailor-fitted purchase of 21 refurbished UH-1 helicopters for Philippine Air Force by the Department of National Defense.

Alvarez accuses Defense officials of “tailor-fitting” the terms of reference for the said purchase to help Rice Aircraft Services, Inc. (RASI) bag the contract for the supply of the helicopters.

“I am giving DND officials and executives of RASI ample opportunity to refute the allegations hurled against them in the Alvarez affidavit,” Guingona said.

Alvarez, in her affidavit, quoted Technical Working Group chair Brigadier General Conrado Parra saying “I don’t think they will allow that but still this can be discussed in the negotiations.”

“I just don’t know how far they can go in bending rules,” Alvarez quoted Parra.

Alvarez also linked DND Undersecretary Fernando Manalo and Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez to the alleged exchange of emails.

“The government uses the People’s money to make these purchases,” Senator Guingona said. “To safeguard their money, the selection of suppliers must be guided by and based on a process and set rules and not on the whims of individuals who bend the rules and corrupt the process to favor a supplier.”

The said helicopter deal was already partially terminated with eight of 21 ordered helicopters completely delivered.