MANILA, Philippines (July 18, 2011) - The Philippine National Police (PNP) shall announce today the result of their probe on 2 helicopters reportedly previously owned by the family of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but passed on as brand-new when purchased by the agency in 2009.
The result of the investigation was supposed to be released Friday last week but PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo gave the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM) a 48-extension that ends today.
Bacalzo instructed the DIDM to check on the procurement of the Robinson R44 Raven II and two Robinson R44 Raven I helicopters, and if evidence warrants, file appropriate charges against those involved.
The PNP chief assured full cooperation on the investigation by the Senate on the alleged irregularities exposed by Sen. Panfilo Lacson.
“We will be very transparent and we will make available all records that we have on all questions that may arise from that transaction,” he said.
The three helicopters were sold to PNP as brand new for P104.9 million.
DIDM chief Director Arturo Cacdac Jr. gave assurance that the investigation will be thorough and all information about the procurement were evaluated.
Bacalzo ordered Special Action Forces (SAF) members to refrain from using the helicopters in questions pending the result of the investigation.
Senators Lacson and Teofisto Guingona III pressed for an investigation on the procurement since the supplier of the helicopters, Manila Aerospace Products Trading Corp. (MAPTRA), made it appear - with the knowledge of the PNP - that the choppers delivered were new.
Lacson said the plan was for the purchase of three light helicopters for the PNP-SAF’s Air Unit. The procurement was planned on May 8, 2009 and the deal awarded on July 9, 2009 to a company that had been registered for only a month.
He said that then PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa approved the supply contract.