Palace welcomes probe into PH Navy’s P15.7B frigates purchase
Malacañang welcomed on Friday the possible Senate investigation on the P15.7-billion frigates acquisition project of the Philippine Navy.
“Senate investigation is a welcome move to determine if (the) Aquino government committed any anomalies in the bidding,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in text message to reporters.
Opposition senators have filed Resolution No. 584, directing the Senate committee on national defense and security and Congressional oversight committee on the AFP Modernization Act to examine the status of the AFP modernization program.
The Inquirer first reported that Go had meddled in the Navy’s selection of the weapons system for the frigate project of the government.
The report said Go allegedly wanted Hanwha Thales (HTC) of South Korea to provide the combat management systems (CMS) over the Tacticos CMS of Thales Nederland Inc.
Go has denied interfering in the Department of National Defense’s selection of the Navy’s weapons system supplier. He said he would resign if the allegations against him could be proven true.
Roque came to Go’s defense, saying that the bidding for the acquisition of the Navy’s two frigates was done during the administration of President Benigno S. Aquino III.
“It was (the) Aquino admin that undertook the bidding and chosen the winning bidder,” Roque said in a text message to reporters. “This admin only issued the notice of award, which was ministerial.”
That made it impossible for Go to intervene, he pointed out.
He also said that the bidding for a CMS was not done separately.
“The CMS was part of the bidding for frigates. There was no separate bidding for it,” he said. “[The] combat system is part of a warship. [It can’t] be bidded [sic] separately from vessel since [we’re] procuring a warship. Notice of award declared bidder by Aquino admin was for a warship not just a vessel,” he said. /kga
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