Ombudsman orders filing of graft raps vs. ex-PNP chief, 7 others

September 28, 2012 10:21 pm 

MANILA, Sept. 28 — The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the filing of graft charges against retired Philippine National Police Director General Jesus Verzosa and seven other PNP officers before the Sandiganbayan for the anomalous purchase of 75 defective police rubber boats in 2008.

Aside from Verzosa, also charged for violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019, otherwise known as the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act," were Deputy Director Generals Jefferson Soriano and Benjamin Belarmino Jr., Directors Luizo Ticman, Ronald Roderos and Romeo Hilomen, Chief Superintendents Herold Ubalde and Villamor Bumanglag.

The case arose from the complaint and supplemental complaint dated Nov. 15, 2011 and Feb. 17, 2012, respectively, filed by the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (Ombudsman-MOLEO).

In the 109-page resolution signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Sept. 26, 2012, she affirmed the special panel of investigators' finding that there is showing that the government suffered undue injury in the amount of P131,550,000 with the irregular purchase of the 75 rubber boats.

It said that the procurement of the 75 police rubber boats (PRBs) and 18 spare engines or outboard motors (OBMs) was part of PNP's Annual Procurement Plan for 2008 under its Capability Enhancement Program Funds.

It narrated that the PNP National Headquarters Bids and Awards Committee (NHQ BAC) conducted the opening of bids on Sept. 9, 2008, wherein among the three proponents which participated in the bidding, only the Joint Venture of Enviro-Aire and Stoneworks Specialist International Corporation passed the eligibility and was set for post-qualification when typhoons struck the country.

It added that the NHQ BAC recommended to the PNP chief the discontinuance of the bidding process and the resort to negotiated procurement.

The special panel of investigators pointed out that while the NHQ BAC said that the resort to negotiated procurement was in response to the destruction wrought by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng, the PRBs and OBMs were never used for the said purpose, as it "took roughly six (6) months or 180 calendar days from the time the alternative mode of procurement was adopted before the needed PRBs and OBMs were finally delivered or, it bears emphasis, long after typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng had occurred."

Records showed that the PNP entered into four separate supply contracts, all dated Dec. 18, 2009, with the following suppliers:

— EnviroAire for the supply of 93 units of OBMs with contract price of P44,175,000;

— EnviroAire for the supply of 10 units of PRB with contract price of P11,650,000;

— Geneve for the supply of 41 units of PRB with contract price of P47,765,000; and

— Bay Industrial for the supply of 10 units of PRB with contract price of P11,650,000.

It noted that upon delivery of the initial batch of PRBs and OBMs, the PNP Maritime Group, through its Technical Inspection Committee on Watercrafts (MG-TICW) "discovered various deficiencies in these equipment, which make their use risky to end-users," and that the boats and engines were not functional when fitted together, thus, unusable for PNP's disaster operation efforts.

The special panel of investigators was co-chaired by Directors Diosdado Calonge and Nellie Boguen-Golez, with Assistant Special Prosecutor Anna Isabel Aurellano, Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Myra Sarmiento-Borromeo, Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Israel Lay-at, and Graft Investigation and Prosecution Officer Christian Yap as members.

The charges against the other 42 respondents were dismissed for insufficiency of evidence. (PNA)

SCS/PTR

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