COA: FA-50, Bell 412EP deals not suspended

UPDATED: The Commission on Audit today said that it did not suspend the aircraft acquisition projects entered by the Department of National Defense for Philippine Air Force. “The COA did not suspend the aircraft deals,” the Commission said.

COA said it is only waiting for documents from DND needed for audit.

“We only issued a notice of suspension because we are still awaiting some documents from DND needed for our Audit,” the Commission said in an email response to Ang Malaya Net’s inquiry.

“Our Notice of Suspension does not in any way affect the delivery of the fighter jets from Korea,” COA said.

DND said in a statement that “the COA merely suspended their scheduled audit pending the submission of additional requirements and data from the Department of National Defense (DND). Thus, the acquisition of the Bell 412 helicopters and the FA-50 jets are ongoing.”

The notice includes deals with Korea Aerospace Industries for twelve FA-50 aircraft and eight Bell 412EP combat utility helicopter project with Bell Helicopter Canada and the 21 refurbished UH-1 helicopter deal.

The report from The Manila Times, headlined with COA grounds P25-B aircraft deals, says “the Commission on Audit (COA) has ordered the suspension of three aircraft acquisition deals forged by the Defense department after state auditors red-flagged them for irregularities.”