Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered graft charges filed against former Philippine National Police Chief Jesus Verzosa and seven other police officials over 75 defective boats the PNP bought in 2008.
Verzosa, as well as Police Deputy Director Generals Jefferson Soriano and Benjamin Belarmino, Jr., Police Directors Luizo Ticman, Ronald Roderos and Romeo Hilomen, and Police Chief Superintendents Herold Ubalde and Villamor Bumanglag have been accused of violating the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Ombudsman Morales, citing the findings of a special panel of investigators, said "there is showing that the government suffered undue injury in the amount of P131 with the irregular purchase of the rubber boats."
The PNP bought 75 police rubber boats (PBRs) and 18 spare engines (outboard motors, or OBM) in 2008 as part of its annual procurement plan. The PNP National Headquarters Bids and Awards Committee (NHQ BAC) recommended having bidding process terminated and have a negotiated procurement instead.
This was supposed to be in response to destruction from typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. Investigators noted, however, that the boats were not used in rescue operations. The panel said delivery "took roughly six months or 180 calendar days from the time the alternative mode of procurement was adopted before the needed PRBs and OBMs were finally delivered or, it bears emphasis, long after typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng had occurred."
The PNP entered into supply contracts in December 2009 with EnviroAire for the supply of 93 units of OBM with contract price of P44.1 million and for the supply of 10 units of PRBs at P11.65 million; Geneve for the supply of 41 units of PRB at P47.765 million, and Bay Industrial for the supply of 10 units of PRB for P11.65 million.
In the opening of bids in September 2008--before the PNP decided to go into negotiated contracts, "only the Joint Venture of Enviro-Aire and Stoneworks Specialist International Corporation passed the eligibility and was set for post-qualification," the Office of the Ombudsman said.
The PNP Maritime Group-Technical Inspection Committee on Watercrafts, when it inspected the boats end engines that were delivered, "discovered various deficiencies in these equipment, which make their use risky to end-users."
It also found that the boats and engines could "were not functional when fitted together, thus, unusable for PNP’s disaster operation efforts."
The Philippines vowed Thursday to "defend what is ours" as part of a stand-off over a Chinese warship circling a South China Sea reef which is occupied by Filipino marines.