11 PNP officers in rubber boat scam slapped with administrative sanctions

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Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. PHOTO BY RICHARD A. REYES

MANILA, Philippines—Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales slapped administrative sanctions against 11 officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in connection with the questionable purchase of 75 defective rubber boats worth P131.5 million.

In a 118-page decision released to the public Tuesday, Morales found Chief Superintendent Herold Ubalde and Deputy Director General Benjamin Belarmino Jr. liable for Gross Neglect of Duty and Grave Misconduct. They were meted the penalty of dismissal from service with accessory penalties of forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification to hold public office. However, if the penalty can no longer be served due to resignation or retirement from service, they will pay a fine equivalent to one year salary in addition to accessory penalties.

Aside from the two, the Ombudsman said Police Director George Piano, Chief Supt. Luis Saligumba, Senior Supt. Job Nolan Antonio and Senior Supt. Edgar Paatan, all members of the PNP’s Inspection and Acceptance Committee, were liable for simple neglect of duty, and meted the penalty of suspension from the service for a period of six months without pay.

On the other hand, Joel CL Garcia also known as Joel Crisostomo De Leon Garcia, Ronald Lee, Ma. Linda Padojinog, and NUP Ruben Gongona, all members of the PNP National Headquarters Bids and Awards Committee and Technical Working Group were ordered suspended for one month without pay. While Morales warned National Police Commission (Napolcom) Director Conrado Sumanga Jr. to be more circumspect in the performance of his duties.

Morales said Sumanga failed “to take a more proactive stance as a member of the Oversight Committee and Acting Service Chief of the Installations and Logistic Service.”

Records showed that the PNP bought through negotiated procurement 75 rubber boats and 18 spare engines or outboard motors intended for use by the PNP Maritime Group as part of the PNP’s Annual Procurement Plan for 2008 under its Capability Enhancement Program Funds.

Upon delivery of the equipment, the PNP Maritime Group’s Technical Inspection Committee on Watercrafts scrutinized the deal and found out that there were deficiencies in the equipment and that they were dangerous to use. The investigation also showed that the boats and engines were not compatible and not functional.

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