Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo discovery | Inquirer News

Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo discovery

PNP pilot certified chopper as new
By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 03:53 AM July 22, 2011

Not only did this pilot ferry members of the Arroyo family on a helicopter that was later passed off as brand new and sold to the Philippine National Police (PNP) in 2009.

He was also one of the inspectors who had certified the apparently used chopper as brand new.

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Supt. Claudio D.S. Gaspar Jr. of the PNP’s elite Special Action Force (SAF) is now in hot water following the discovery by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) of his involvement in the controversial P105 million transaction.

Interior Secretary Jesse M. Robredo said he received information that Gaspar was one of the pilots tapped to fetch and ferry members of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s family to and from various destinations in the country.

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Flight logs

Flight logs had shown that the Arroyo family were frequent passengers of the two Robinson R44 Raven 1 model choppers before these were falsely sold as brand new to the PNP’s SAF unit.

“Worse, Gaspar even acted as one of the 16 members of the PNP Inspection Team who certified that the two used helicopters bought by the PNP on Sept. 24, 2009, were brand new,” Robredo said in a statement yesterday.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson earlier alleged that the Arroyos were the previous owners of the choppers, a charge the family had denied.

Robredo said he had asked one of his men to look for and talk to the police officer but was informed he was “working for his early retirement from the service.”

Thus, he asked the National Police Commission to hold Gaspar’s papers in abeyance “until he has cleared his name in the controversy,” Robredo said.

At least 23 police officers have been implicated in the alleged irregularity, including the seven members of PNP bids and awards panel chaired by now retired PNP deputy director general Jefferson Soriano.

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The PNP originally bought three choppers for P104.9 million, one of which was truly brand new, having logged only 9.9 hours of flying time. But the two others were found to have logged an average flying time of 500 hours before they were received by the SAF’s Air Unit.

The two Robinson choppers were previously registered to the Asian Spirit, Inc. which leased them to Lion Air Inc. in 2004.

But it was Manila Aerospace Products Trading (Maptra) owned by one Hilario “Larry” De Vera that negotiated for the PNP purchase.

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TAGS: Arroyo family, Graft and Corruption, helicopter, Jesse Robredo, Manila, Mikey Arroyo, Philippine National Police (PNP), PNP’s elite Special Action Force (SAF), Robinson R44 Raven 1 model choppers, Supt. Claudio D.S. Gaspar Jr.
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