JV Ejercito seeks probe into DND's P1.2-B chopper deal
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joseph Victor Ejercito wants the Senate blue ribbon committee to probe alleged anomalies in the defense department's purchase of 21 UH-1 combat helicopters worth P1.2 billion.
Ejercito on Monday, March 16, filed Senate Resolution 1238 seeking to investigate reports that the contract for the procurement of refurbished Huey helicopters was "tailor-fitted" for a "favored" bidder.
“The Senate should check if any violations were made on the procurement law in the purchase of these 21 helicopters. We have to look into this deal because P1.2 billion worth of choppers that cannot be used and have obsolete parts are disadvantageous to the AFP Modernization Program,” said Ejercito, a member of the Senate committee on national defense and security.
Ejercito, in his resolution, cited reports from The Manila Times and the Manila Bulletin that uncovered alleged irregularities in the deal.
"These reports alleged that the UH-1D units that were delivered by the suppliers to the Philippine Air Force were non-compliant with the project contract's Terms of Reference. Furthermore, they have limited use due to some defects, thereby defeating the purpose of its acquisition and is a prima facie wastage of taxpayers' money," the resolution said.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines awarded the contract to Rice Aircraft Services Incorporated of the United States and Eagle Copters Ltd of Canada in December 2013 after 3 failed biddings. The project is part of the AFP modernization program.