The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal of 19 officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) from the service in connection with the allegedly anomalous purchase of police coastal crafts (PCCs) worth P4.54 million in 2009.
According to the office, the purchase of the rubber boats did not go through public bidding and the boats were also certified to have passed the acceptance criteria despite “glaring defects.”
Ordered dismissed from the service for grave misconduct were Chief Superintendents Reynaldo Rafal and Rialto Tungala Jr.; Senior Superintendents Asher Dolina, Ferdinand Yuzon, Cornelio Salinas, Thomas Abellar, Nepomuceno Magno Corpus Jr., Rico Payonga, Alex Sarmiento and Aleto Jeremy Mirasol; Supt. Michael Amor Filart, Job Marasigan and Leodegario Visaya; Chief Inspectors Juanito Estrebor and Renelfa Saculles; and Police Officer 3 Avensuel Dy.
Supt. Henry Duque and PNP Accounting Division chief Antonio Retrato were also ordered dismissed for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty, while Chief Supt. George Piano and Commission on Audit (COA) auditor for the PNP Jaime Sañares were dismissed for gross neglect of duty.
“The above-mentioned officials were also meted out the accessory penalties of perpetual disqualification from reemployment in the government service, forfeiture of retirement benefits and cancelation of civil service eligibility,” the office said in a statement issued on Friday.
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales directed the Secretary of the Department of the Interior and Local Government and the PNP chief to implement the decision.
In addition, Morales approved the filing of graft charges before the Sandiganbayan against Supt. Villamor Bumanglag, Piano, Dolina, Yuzon, Salinas, Corpus Jr., Abellar, Payonga, Duque, Retrato, Marasigan, Visaya, Estrebor, Saculles, Dy, Rafal, Tungala Jr., Sarmiento, Mirasol, Sañares and Filart as well as Roselle Ferrer and Pacita Umali of Four Petals Trading (FPT), supplier of the rubber boats.
The charges were for alleged violations of Section 3(e) of Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Section 3 (e) of the anti-graft law prohibits public officials from causing any undue injury to any party, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of their official functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence.
The office also ordered the filing of charges for alleged falsification of public documents against Piano and Duque.
“Investigators found that in 2009, the PNP National Headquarters issued a resolution for the procurement of watercrafts including 20 PCCs with a budget of P5 million.
Bumanglag, as former director of the Maritime Group, requested the increase in unit price from P250,000 to P312,000 resulting [in]a reduction of the number of units to 16 PCCs,” it said.
“At the time the rubber boats were delivered and inspected on 22 March 2010, several defects were already uncovered such as: (1) lack of water temperature gauges, fuel gauges, engine oil pressure gauges and speedometers; (2) engines were not operational; (3) no rudder posts, one damaged outrigger; (4) no ampere gauge; (5) no canvass; (6) no hole back portion for starboard side; (7) no alternator; (8) stacked-up transmission; and (9) no heater plug. Even then, they were accepted as conforming to end-user’s specification,” the office added.
It noted several alleged procurement violations such as undated and unnumbered procurement documents.
The office said the supplier “was not a technically, legally and financial capable supplier given that its address is located in a residential area with no company website,” and that FPT was not known in the coastal craft-building industry.
In August 2010, the PNP officials paid FPT a total of P4.54 million for the allegedly defective rubber boats, according to the office.
“[T]he significant events leading to the procurement of 16 PCCs would not only reveal badges of irregularities but also of haste and preference to buy from FPT as the sole and only choice of supplier for coastal crafts,” Morales said.