Former top officials of the Philippine National Police may soon be in hot water again, as Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales orders a preliminary investigation and administrative charges over "ghost" repairs on police light armored vehicles that cost the government P400 million.
Former PNP chief Avelino Razon Jr. and 26 other retired and active members of the PNP face charges of plunder, graft, violations of the Government Procurement Act, and malversation of funds, according to a statement from the Ombudsman.
Respondents still in active service will also face administrative charges of Grave Misconduct and Serious Dishonesty, the Ombudsman's office added.
The Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices (MOLEO) has already filed a complaint against Razon and others, saying repairs on 28 V-150 Light Armored Vehicles in 2007 were suspicious.
MOLEO investigators say there were fictitious deliveries of engines and drive trains and that there were "no records of waste materials to indicate that the engines and parts have been actually replaced." Investigators also noted "irregularities in the whole procurement process, such as the lack of bidding documents to possible bidders, lack of pre-procurement conference, lack of pre-bid conference, and lack of post-qualification (of the bidder)."
Ombudsman Morales has formed a special panel of investigators to finish preliminary investigation and administrative adjudication within 45 days. A preliminary investigation is conducted to determine whether there is enough evidence to file charges in court.
Aside from Razon, former deputy PNP chief Reynaldo Varilla, former police directors Geary Barias and Eliseo Dela Paz, as well as former police chief superintendents Ray Roderos and Teodorico Lapuz were listed as respondents in the complaint.
Also included in the complaint were:
PNP Accounting Division Chief Antonio Retrato
PNP Resident COA Supervising Auditor Jaime Serrano
Police Director Charlemagne Alejandrino
PCSupt. Mario San Diego
PCSupt. Reuel Leverne Labrado
PSSupt. Victor Agarcio
PSSupt. Rainier Espina
PSupt. Edgar Paatan
PSupt. Henry Duque
PSupt. Josefina Dumanew
PSupt Warlito Tubon
PCInsp. Analee Forro
SPO4 Victor Puddao
SPO4 Alfredo Laviña
NUP Eulito Fuentes
NUP Alex Barrameda
NUP Patricia Enaje
NUP Maria Teresa Narcise
NUP Nancy Basallo
Technical Audit Specialist Amor Quiambao
Twelve private individuals who acted as suppliers and bidders were also listed on the complaint.
Philippine economic growth in the first quarter slowed to a three-year low of 5.2 percent, well below forecasts, due to lethargic government spending and weak exports, officials said Thursday. "While growth in the private sector remains robust, the slower than programmed pace of public spending, particularly the decline in public construction, has slowed down the overall growth of the economy," Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan told reporters. "Exports were the other source of the …