Logs show ‘Cong Mikey’ flew on choppers–PNP
The Philippine National Police confirmed Monday that certain members of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s family had used two helicopters “several times” before these were sold to the PNP as brand new equipment.
Director Arturo Cacdac, chief of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management (DIDM), said passenger logs of the two Robinson R44 Raven 1 helicopters the police force bought turned up the names of some personalities linked to the brewing controversy.
But he consented to reveal only one: “Cong Mikey,” who with an aide flew on one chopper, the RP 4250, on Oct. 5, 2007, from Lubao, Pampanga, to A3 Extension [the grounds of Malacañang].
This presumably referred to Ang Galing Pinoy party-list Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo, the former president’s son. His mother is now the representative of the second district of Pampanga which includes Lubao.
In a briefing at Camp Crame, Cacdac declined to reveal the other names on the passenger logs, saying that he did not want to preempt any investigations, including one by the Senate.
But he said that the persons were recorded to have used the choppers several times. Along with the used helicopters, the PNP also bought a brand new unit.
The passenger logs, along with other documents the DIDM had gathered in its probe, would be forwarded to the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), which would conduct an “in-depth investigation” to determine the criminal liability of those involved, Cacdac said.
He said the DIDM would submit the names of 23 police officers allegedly involved in the purchase. They were members of the PNP bids and awards committee, inspection and acceptance committee, and the technical inspection team.
The highest ranking of the officers is former Deputy Director General Jefferson Soriano, who was the PNP’s deputy chief for administration at the time of the purchase in 2009.
Cacdac could not give a categorical answer as to whether former Director General Jesus Versoza, who was then the PNP chief, would be held liable, saying this would depend on the CIDG probe.
The PNP internal affairs service would also determine the administrative liability of those involved, he said.
Cacdac’s statement bolstered the claim of Sen. Panfilo Lacson that the Arroyos were the previous owners of the second-hand choppers that were passed off as new. The Arroyos have denied this.
An Inquirer source earlier said that “it was clear the choppers were at the Arroyos’ beck and call.”
Cacdac said the records showed the choppers were registered under the name of Asian Spirit Inc. and leased to Lionair Inc., the authorized dealer of Robinson helicopters in the country.
But he said that the question of when Asian Spirit acquired the helicopters was not clear.
Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo earlier ordered the PNP to probe the deal where three helicopters were passed off as brand new and sold for P105 million to the police force. Two of the choppers were later found to have logged more than 500 flight hours each.
The two helicopters, along with the third unit, a brand new Robinson R44 Raven II, were bought from supplier Manila Aerospace Trading (Maptra), which said it had only acted as an agent for the authorized dealer of Robinson helicopters, Lionair Inc.
In May 2009, the PNP negotiated with Maptra for the purchase of three equipped light police operational helicopters, later modifying the order to one equipped and two standard LPOHs. The contract was approved two months later.
But after it was shown that the two helicopters were used units, the PNP denied knowing anything about it and demanded that the supplier replace them with brand new units.
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