Ombudsman urged to probe Aquino admin’s procurement of overpriced fighter trainer jets


MANILA, Philippines — The anti-corruption group Anti Trapo Movement (ATM) sent a letter to the Office of the Ombudsman, asking for the investigation of alleged anomalous purchase of expensive FA-50 or trainer jets by the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and Department of National Defense (DND) during the term of the Aquino administration.

The group claims the procured aircraft were overpriced.

ATM chairman, Leon Peralta said, “Alam namin na ito ay allegedly overpriced kasi merong nag o-offer ng 20 million dollars lang na mas sophisticated dito sa FA-50 na mahal mahal ng presyo pero ang capacity nya ay hindi katumbas ng presyo ng pagkakabili.”

(We know that these are allegedly overpriced because someone is offering for only 20 million dollars and is more sophisticated than this FA-50 which is very expensive but its capacity is not commensurate to its price.)

ATM said the price of one FA-50 already amounts to the combined price of three trainer jets.

One unit of FA-50 is USD 35-million.

The group claims the 12 trainer jets bought by the DND and AFP amounts to a total of P18.9 billion.

The government purchased the units from Korea Aerospace Industries in South Korea.

The group noted that a huge amount of money was wasted as the said FA-50s are only used for ceremonies and not for battle.

ATM also alleged that the individuals who negotiated for the trainer jets have links to the Israel Aerospace Industries that is purportedly facing corruption scandal in Israel.

“Yung nag re-representa sa kanila dito ngayon are allegedly well placed, well connected at maraming tao sa AFP at DND. Eh naibenta nga nila yung napakamahal na FA-50,” Peralta said.

(Those that represent them now are allegedly well placed, well connected with many people in the AFP and DND. Well, they were able to sell the expensive FA-50.)

In the coming days, the group will formally file a complaint at the Office of the Ombudsman against individuals, they say, are involved in the allegedly anomalous transaction.

On the other hand, the DND and AFP, said they are not against the filing of complaint.

If an investigation pushes through, the two defense establishments vow to cooperate so the truth will come out. — Mon Jocson | UNTV News & Rescue


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