Aquino fooled ‘big-time’; Hueys won’t fly


PRESIDENT Benigno Aquino 3rd was “fooled big-time” into believing that the P1.2- billion helicopter deal involving the supply of 21 refurbished “Huey” helicopters would be a success because none of the aircraft could fly nearly two years after the President announced their expected arrival.

“Joey,” The Manila Times source who revealed defects in the “onerous” and “disadvantageous” deal, said if Aquino was “fooled” in the Mamasapano operation as he claimed, he was also fooled into assuming that the helicopter gunships would be able to support embattled troops on the ground.

“Remember that it was the US government that even provided the choppers that were used to evacuate the dead and wounded. [If specifications of what were delivered were correct, then the helicopters should have been deployed to Mamasapano. So, why were they not deployed then]?” The Times informant asked.

“The technical specifications were not meant for UH 1D that were brought in by Robert Rice because the project was really intended for UH 1H, [but since this part of the helicopter deal]was manipulated by Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo by deleting the letter H and have it UH 1 instead, to make it appear that the intention is to accommodate other models. [The technical specifications were, in the end, found to be all incorrect],” the source said.

Rice is the president of Rice Aircraft Services Inc. (RASI), whose joint venture with Canada’s Eagle Copters Ltd, won the bid to supply the refurbished helicopters last year. Technical defects and other violations, however, delayed deliveries but the Department of National Defense (DND) played along with the supplier, instead of rescinding the contract.

There were exchanges between RASI and the DND as evidenced by a number of letters in the possession of The Manila Times.

In many instances, Rice was asked to explain several discrepancies, from dates of delivery to specific parts of the aircraft.

“Joey” said the government should have terminated the contract at the first sign of trouble but, instead, RASI continued to deliver, with the apparent help of Manalo.

“Look, [Manalo] was a member of the SBAC (Special Bids and Awards Committee]. Then, he was the chairman also of the negotiating committee that awarded the contract to RASI. And, now, Manalo is also the chairman of the contract termination committee. Whatever happened to the principle of check and balance?” the source asked.

In his 2012 State of the Nation Address, President Aquino said, “Before the end of the year, we expect the delivery of 21 refurbished UH-1H helicopters.”

No chopper, however, arrived until two years later.

“The project cost is 1.2636 billion pesos. This was awarded December 23, 2013 with a delivery period of 180 days upon opening of Letter of Credit. Despite the fact that the helicopters are not compliant with all the requirements, the government is continuously accepting those defective units. As a matter of fact, the government is still looking forward to grant an extension of time without justifiable reason,” “Joey” said.

Contrary to the President’s expectations, what were actually delivered were UH-1D of the old and “obsolete” German model.

“During inspection, the Philippine Air Force inspection team found out that the UH 1D is not NVG (night vision goggle) compatible.

Refurbished means that the helicopters must be refurbished to comply with what are being asked for in the Terms of Reference. They are refurbished, okay? The President was fooled big-time!” The Times informant said.

On Tuesday, “Joey” expressed readiness to “tell all” in any credible inquiry, especially one that would be initiated by Congress. He said he will bare how RASI managed to bag the contract with the help of its “agent” in the DND who stands to get five percent of the contract price as commission.

The source said the “kickbacks” could reach as high as 12 percent, with seven percent commission intended for a “higher ranking” Defense official.


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  1. Mr. Sr. Reporter. Still at it I see. Everything you’ve written here has been debunked many times. You must really think Filipinos are too stupid to think for themselves. Although based on most of the responses here, I suspect you might be right. You are making true whistleblowers look bad. You are starting to sound like the boy who cried wolf. How could the Hueys be two years late? The purchase order was issued around December 2013. So you’re saying the deliveries should have been made before the PO was issued?! This is worse than irresponsible journalism. Stop writing this crap.

  2. Jaime Hernandez on

    Some people profited from this deal. Classic case of siphoning people’s money. These agents think Filipinos are idiots & morons.

  3. The filipino people who voted this President should regret and ask apology by themselves. Because they voted the most stupid, idiot and irresponsible president of the Philippines..of all times.
    I have no regret because I didnt vote his mother or neither of him as well as his whole family. I will never vote their family. never…This family intention is not to serve my country, but to destroy everything because of vengeance to Marcos Family who is more deserving to serve my country..

  4. Whether the helicopters are lemon or not. No one can deny the fact that this kind of buying aka commissioning does happen and is currently happening in this country. Being in government service is like having your own business. Government position is equated to capital. They are just reaping the return of investment. No one is really serving the public in this government. They are serving themselves. Sadly, this country needs to be built from scratch. The culture of corruption is too embedded in our people’s psyche and no amount of reform can change that.

    • The agent’s commission is legal. After all, foreign companies are legally required to have local representation when selling to the Philippine government. Think of it as local content. And yup, you guessed it, the local rep does not work for free. Would you? Let’s try and separate legal from illegal here people. You’re just letting the reporter manipulate you. He has complete disregard for journalism ethics. Quite sickening if you ask me.

  5. CASE IN POINT: money talks in this country…. ampatuan, the main suspect in the maguindanao massacre is now out on bail.

  6. Vicente Penetrante on

    “The fool on the hill”
    Can see his men on the ground below:
    Looking for ways to spend they know,
    Experts not in buying but commissioning.

    “The fool on the hill” knows,
    But allows his men to do so.

  7. Roldan Guerrero on

    Its not just Aquino himself is fooled,because of his wrong decisions, the nation as whole and the Filipinos are…..this is the result of having a gross OTO_OTO President,

  8. chthonic monster on

    “Day after day
    Alone on a hill
    The man with the foolish grin
    Is keeping perfectly still
    But nobody wants to know him
    They can see that he’s just a fool
    And he never gives an answer

    But the fool on the hill”!

    • This “fool on the hill” of this very meaningful Beatle song is certainly not the type of fool meant in this article. The Beatle’s “fool” in that song is actually a man full of wisdom “who sees the sun going down, And his head sees the world spinning round, and round,and round…” The “fool” in this artilcle is simply just fool. As in stupid. Naiisahan. Sa inyo pa sa Tagawog.

  9. Mike Arroyo would have delivered copters that at least would have flown. The graft is much worse now. We used to pay too much. Now we pay too much and get nothing in return but junk that does not work.

  10. Surely this is another joke. This cant be real. Did they think no one would notice. I just cant stop laughing at the stupidity of these people. All they can see in front of their eyes are pesos, millions of pesos & it blinds them to honesty, integrity & loyalty & patriotism. The saying be proud to be filipino, people should be ashamed to be filipino with the rife corruption in this country. Your leaders are corrupt from the top to the bottom. My god you would need a million strong investigation force to even see the tip of the corruption iceberg in this country.

  11. When BS Aquino talk about the delivery of 21 Huey choppers, his listeners were fools. So, as the saying goes, if you talk to a fool, two (2) fools are talking.

  12. When a lot of money is involved, people will fool even the President. Specially if this president lacks the intelligence to determine outright the deceit.

  13. Kung totoo ito,dapat bitayin ang may mga sala. Isipan lang na mga buhay ng ating kasundaluhan ang nakasalalay dito at ariarian. Imbestigahan ito at pabilisan ang paghatol sa may kasalanan.

  14. When questioned about Mamasapano, BS Aquino said he was fooled by his subordinate – so shame on Napenas. But if fooled a second time, he said “Shame on me”.

    Now, he allowed himself to be fooled big time a second time. So excuse me, Mr. Abnoy – SHAME OF YOU!

  15. P, Akialamiro on

    Binola once(Mamasapano), shame on you; binola twice (Hueys), shame on him….. taking his own medicine!

  16. You’re a disgrace to the profession you represent, sir.

    A simple internet search will reveal those UH-1Ds you’re talking about are Dornier built UH-1Hs, only called D models because they were license built in Germany or Deutschland and received special designations to reflect the fact. It’s the same case with Japanese license built UH-1Hs, which were given the UH-1J designation for Japan.

    Your whistleblower source is nothing more than a quack doctor. In this small world with Facebook, we already have aeen pictures of the supposedly “unflyable” Hueys in the air and being tested.

    • Exactly right. What a hatchet job on the aircraft information side. The UH1D from Dornier is a superior machine in many ways to the H model from the U.S. This idiot reporter obvioudly did not lift a finger to background check the facts. As for “Joey”, I’m sure he’s simply mad about not getting paid his own kickback thanks to Thach Nguyen, who is the real criminal behind this matter – if there is one.

      “Joey” is just making this reporter look like a fool