Another PNP scam: Defective boatsBy Dona Z. Pazzibugan
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Four logistics officers of the Philippine National Police (PNP) face graft charges and dismissal for allegedly allowing the payment of nearly P5 million to the supplier of 16 defective motorized boats.
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo said the PNP paid P4.9 million in March last year for 16 police coastal craft (PCCs) that were found to be “defective and unserviceable” by the PNP Maritime Group upon their delivery.
“Worse, none of the 16 PCCs was ever used for its intended purpose. Why? Because the defective PCCs which were moored at the Navotas Fish Port Complex in Navotas City all sank when Typhoon ‘Bebeng’ hit the country (in May) last year,” Robredo said.
He said the supplier, Four Petals Trading, got paid due to the “irregular intervention” of four members of the PNP Logistics Support Service’s inspection and acceptance committee (PNP LSS-IAC) led by Superintendent Job Marasigan.
Robredo said Marasigan, Superintendents Leodegario Bisaya and Juanito Estrebor, and Chief Inspector Renelfa Saculles would undergo dismissal proceedings and face criminal investigation.
This is the latest anomaly in the PNP allegedly committed during the past Arroyo administration to be uncovered.
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the current PNP leadership have so far exposed the purchase of two second-hand helicopters that were passed off as brand new for P105 million; P131.5 million worth of unusable and allegedly overpriced rubber boats and engines; the overpriced repair and refurbishing of 28 light armored vehicles for P409 million and a large-scale pension scam that defrauded the PNP of some P1 billion in the past five years.
Based on a report submitted by PNP Director General Raul Bacalzo to Robredo dated August 5, the PNP Maritime Group found the 16 PCCs that were delivered on March 10 last year to have several defects.
The PCCs were supposed to have gasoline engines, but what they got were diesel engines.
The PNP Maritime Group technical inspection committee reported that “the engines are not operational, no rudder and post, damaged outrigger (katig), no ampere gauge, no canvass, no hole in the back portion of the starboard side, no alternator, stuck-up transmission, no heater plug etc.”
It said Four Petals Trading ignored their repeated demands to have the boats repaired.
According to Robredo, without the knowledge of PNP MG officials, Superintendent Marasigan and his men issued a resolution accepting the defective boats and certifying that they conformed to the approved specifications by the National Police Commission.
The supplier was able to get paid based on the inspection report prepared by the four LSS IAC officers.
“The (four) officers led by Superintendent Marasigan clearly acted in bad faith when they issued an inspection report and arrogated upon themselves the authority which was delegated to the PNP Maritime Group inspection and acceptance committee by the PNP (headquarters) bids and awards committee,” Robredo said.
Bacalzo reported that he had ordered Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management chief Director Arturo Cacdac Jr. and Criminal Investigation and Detection Group Director Samuel Pagdilao to start the investigation of Marasigan and his men.
A lawyer, Bacalzo said the four logistics officers’ act was tantamount to a serious irregularity in the performance of their duty and a violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Bacalzo said the investigation would later include others liable for conducting the inspection and acceptance of the 16 PCCs without proper authority.
The 16 PCCs were bought with the same funds used to procure the 75 unusable rubber boats and 93 outboard motor engines for P131.5 million in April 2010. The rubber boats could not be used since the engines purchased did not match them.
The rubber boats’ purchase reportedly had an approved budget contract of P180 million, P168 million of which was sourced from the internal security operations maritime equipment fund and P12 million from the capability enhancement program for the year 2008.