WITNESS FEARS CHOPPER COVER-UP

Air Force officials in cahoots with supplier?

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Maj. Oliver Casungcad inspects one of the UH 1D helicopters.

Maj. Oliver Casungcad inspects one of the UH 1D helicopters.

SOME Philippine Air Force (PAF) officers are allegedly in cahoots with ranking officials of the Department of National Defense (DND) who are involved in the questionable procurement of 21 refurbished UH-1 helicopters that have “issues,” including supposed violations of the Term of Reference (TOR) by the American supplier.

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“Joey,” who blew the whistle on the helicopter deal, said he knows some PAF officers with the rank of major to general who are part of the group that “may have benefited” from the onerous deal.

He will be tapped as state witness once Congress holds a formal investigation of the case.

“I have emails and personal experience to back me up. I believe they are opting for a cover-up, part of it being the fact that they showed to the media that two of the choppers could actually fly. Eight of the UH-1D aircraft have been accepted. Four of them are in Villamor [Air Base]. How come they displayed only two? Because the two others don’t fly, yet they have been paid [for],” “Joey,” who made public “discrepancies” in the P1.2-billion helicopter contract between the military and Rice Aircraft Services Inc. (RASI) and its Canadian counterpart, Eagle Copters Ltd., said.

The source added that the PAF officers are involved in the procurement, inspection and testing of aircraft that are added to their inventory, besides the 21 helicopters supplied by RASI.

“I couldn’t say that they are a mafia but certainly they are close to being a syndicate. They are under the protection of a ranking Defense official who had worked with them in the past. Right now, my friends there are saying that their group is trying to hide and cover up the discrepancies,” the informant told The Manila Times.

“Joey” is now in the protective custody of a ranking leader of Congress who is preparing to call for an inquiry into the chopper deal. When asked to identify the DND and PAF officials, the source replied, “You’ll know in time. When my testimony is made formal. What I can say is that they figured prominently recently in justifying the deal.”

The source said the PAF officers inspected the aircraft at RASI’s facility in the United States. “Joey” said the defects and discrepancies were known to the inspectors since Day 1 but the deal pushed through just the same.

“If you can get a copy of the post-qualification report, you’ll find there that there was no mention of the discrepancies whatsoever. They reported that the aircraft were in perfect condition so that RASI should bag the deal,” the informant added.

“They are making a fool out of the people. There is corruption there and [name of officer]is a disgrace to the service,” he said.

Meanwhile, according to the source, feelers were sent to him about an attempt by the supplier and the ranking DND official to “buy his silence.”

“Joey” said RASI lawyers in the country invited him for a dialogue. The “invitation,” which was coursed through a friend, is aimed at discussing “payment” for his silence.

“I told them, through a friend, to keep their money and use it in future litigation. I don’t do this for money. This is for the pilots who fly those flying coffins, their families, the PAF and the country. They are now in panic because they know I have the goods on them,” he added.

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12 Comments

  1. Primer C. Pagunuran on

    My only academic interest here is to check whether or not the officers of the Philippine AIr Forces and the officers of the Department of National Defense are all products of the Philippine Military Academy where the ‘mistah culture’ has served their best interests.

    That, I hope, is fair to ask. And the names of these officers of both agencies be publicly named.

  2. Judging from the responses, the writer is making fools out of all you readers and taking you for a ride. The allegations are bogus and originated from a corrupt BIR official named Rhodora Alvarez who misrepresented herself as a government facilitator and tried to solicit a kickback from Rice to the tune of 15%. When denied, she allegedly tried to extort money from Rice by threatening to do exactly what is now happening. This is a simple case of blackmail. This Alvarez person is probably “Joey” the informant. Everything that has been stated by the writer to support corruption allegations has been openly debunked. Don’t be fooled. Check sites like timawa.net and max defense and educate yourselves.

    Corruption should be rooted out from our society, but lies like these don’t help the cause, particularly since they actually originated from a corrupt government employee.

  3. These present crop of Generals where junior officers during Marcos regime,they were trained to corrupt not to fight.

  4. We should get the supplier and those who procure it ride the helicopter and fly at 5,000 ft out to the ocean for 2 hours or so and see if these choppers are safe.

  5. Wow, true to its motto, the PAF is upholding “TIME ON TARGET” under the table operations.

    So, as we speak, RP’s AFP Generals are ransacking its Billions of Congressional Funds while China is currently claiming all the Islets and Reefs within the RP’s territorial domain in the West Philippine Sea. And the Philippine Gov;t Officials of the Yellow Cult Tribe has sold the Sabah claim to the Malaysians.

    Oh Lord! What a Pathetic predicament this country Philippines has been fated to –

  6. Air Force officials in cahoots with helicopter suppliers? Of course! Nothing has changed in the way the Philippine government is run. Most, if not all of government contracts in BS Aquino’s government are overpriced. Rampant corruption is ever-present in all government branches – Executive, DPWH, DSWD. Customs, BIR, Immigration, Congress, LTO, AFP, etc. BS Aquino himself kept un-audited presidential pork barrels amounting to more than P1 trillion. Under Aquino, the gap between the rich and poor got wider, with more than half of Filipinos living in poverty

    Shameless, corrupt and incompetent BS Aquino administration!

    • Its your opinion and no person is found guilty until proven. Please do a research before make an allegations. I suggest read the blog of Max Montero via maxdefense.blogspot.com and check timawa.net/forum.

  7. apolonio reyes on

    This is one problem with our procurement law, most of those who will inspect the units purchased are under the ones who issued the purchase order or higher officials like this deal is under the DND, HOW CAN THEY REFUSE THESE OFFERS?. How can they resists the temptations of perk, wine and women plus money for gambling at Las Vegas? HOW CAN THEY REFUSE THIER HIGHER OFFICERS?
    It is about time THAT CONGRESS AMEND THE PROCUREMENT LAW that inspections be made by another independent assessors TO INSPECT THE GOODS AND EQUIPMENTS IMPORTED BY OUR GOVERNMENT like the SGS used by BOC during martial law. SGS cannot be BRIBED by UNSCRUPOLOUS SUPPLIERS AND WILL INSPECT ALL IMPORTS AT THE PORT OF EXIT SEEING TO IT THAT IT CONFORMS TO THE TERM OF REFERENCE AND DELIVERY ” TIME ON TARGET “, DI BA SDND SIR V, SENTONGREASE AND TONGREASEMEN?

  8. Thanks to the informant if the accusation is really true. We need this to cleanse our country from shame of having bad and corrupt public servant.

  9. Ma. Dolores Mamaril on

    Spill the beans. If you have substantial evidence, you can file it in court. If you didn’t do anything and keep on spreading that issues, it’s only a hearsay. What is the veracity?

  10. Mr. Sr. Reporter, every thing you have stated regarding violations of the TOR have been openly debunked in various fora and news services. Thanks to the Inquirer, we now know there was also an attempt by a Dept of Finance official to extract a kickback from Rice. When turned away by Rice and removed by the GRP from position of authority, this person tried to extort money from Rice. Is this person your ‘Joey’? If so, you have effectively sourced your information from a corrupt official.