PNP told to explain why supplier has not been blacklistedBy DJ Yap
Philippine Daily Inquirer
MANILA, Philippines—Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo wants an explanation as to why the controversial firm Enviro-Aire Inc., which was involved in a number of allegedly shady deals with the Philippine National Police, has not been blacklisted by the police organization.
In a June 18 memorandum, Robredo ordered PNP Director General Nicanor A. Bartolome to explain why the PNP had not barred Enviro-Aire from bidding for contracts despite the latter’s involvement in irregular transactions, and had in fact allowed the company to bid for and win contracts.
On Friday, Enviro-Aire even passed the first two stages of the post-qualification procedures for another deal it had won, a P5.5 million contract to provide the PNP with 1,000 anti-riot helmets.
The Robredo memorandum noted that the firm was also the lone bidder and declared winner of a contract for the purchase of hand and body protectors worth P12.238 million.
Enviro-Aire was previously linked to the PNP’s purchase in 2009 of 75 police rubber boats, many of which turned out to be incompatible with 18 outboard motors that came with them.
It was also one of six firms awarded P400 million worth of contracts in 2007 to repair and refurbish 28 V-150 Light Armored Vehicles, a deal which an investigation found involved “gross violations” of Commission on Audit regulations.
In his memorandum, Robredo noted that he asked the PNP in 2011 to begin the blacklisting procedures for Enviro-Aire, as per the recommendation of the PNP’s Directorate for Research and Development (PRD).
“With its participation in the subject bidding (for the hand and body protectors), it is apparent that Enviro-Aire Inc. was not blacklisted by the PNP,” he said.
“Thus, please submit to the undersigned a report of actions taken by the PNP on the matter particularly explaining why the PNP did not blacklist Enviro-Aire and the other suppliers involved in the delivery of the PRBs (police rubber boats) and OBMs (outboard motors),” Robredo said.
At Camp Crame on Friday, it became even more apparent that Enviro-Aire was still involved in PNP transactions.
Three sample helmets submitted by the firm were subjected to a demonstration that included beating by truncheons and throwing of stones, and were found to be adequate for the needs of the PNP’s anti-riot forces in Metro Manila.
Senior Inspector Emerson Cubillan, chief of the equipment section of the PNP’s Directorate for Research and Development, said Enviro-Aire had now passed the first two phases of post-qualification after it won the contract in 2011.
The firm, however, will still need to pass a materials test to be awarded the contract, he said.
But Director Felipe Roxas, chief of the PNP’s PRD, said even if the blacklisting of Enviro-Aire had pushed through, the deals it had won prior to the blacklisting would still push through, since the blacklisting would not be retroactive.
In an interview with reporters, he said he was not aware of why the PNP’s bids and awards committee had not gone through with the blacklisting despite Robredo’s recommendation.
PNP spokesperson Senior Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr., who claimed he was not familiar with the issue, said he believed the concerned offices were already moving to explain why Enviro-Aire was still being allowed to take part in PNP transactions.
The president of Enviro-Aire is Tyrone Ong, who previously figured in the “Euro generals” controversy in the PNP, involving former police comptroller Eliseo dela Paz and his wife.
The couple were briefly detained at the Moscow airport in 2008 for carrying 45,000 euro (about P3 million) that had not be previously declared. Ong later told a Senate inquiry that he gave the euro to Dela Paz to buy an expensive watch.