Senate panel to file graft case vs Mike Arroyo in Ombudsman
2 former gov’t execs, 16 police officers included, says committeeBy Maila Ager
MANILA, Philippines–The Senate blue ribbon committee has recommended the filing of a case against former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, two former government officials and 16 police officers for violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act over the allegedly anomalous purchase of second-hand helicopters in 2009.
To be charged along with Arroyo were former Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno and former Police chief Jesus Versoza.
The police officers charged were those involved in the approval of the contract with the supplier, Manila Aerospace Products Trading Corp.
“This committee finds conspiracy among and between Mike Arroyo and the officers of the Philippine National Police,” Senator Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the committee, said when he presented the repor during a regular forum in the Senate on Thursday.
“With Mike Arroyo’s influence, a scheming conspiracy ensured that the supply contract will be signed and that despite the clear fact that the delivered helicopters were clearly used helicopters, these will nevertheless be accepted by the Philippine Nation Police,” Guingona added.
Arroyo allegedly owned the used choppers sold as brand new to the PNP. He denied the allegation.
Eleven senators signed the report: Guingona, Senators Panfilo Lacson, Aquilino Pimentel III, Sergio Osmena III, Francis Pangilinan, Antionio Trillanes IV, Franklin Drlion, Frances “Chiz” Escudero, Pia Cayetano, and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.
Guingona said Senator Alan Peter Cayetano also sent word that he would sign the report.
Though the report has yet to be presented in the plenary for either approval or rejection, Lacson, Guingona and Pimentel said they would take the case to the Ombudsman this Thursday noon.
Even without the report, Lacson said they have enough evidence to charge those involved in court.
“We have more than enough evidence…incidental lang yung committee report,” said Lacson.