THE Senate will continue with its scheduled investigation of the controversial P1.2- billion UH-1 helicopter procurement deal with US supplier Rice Aircraft Services Inc. (RASI) even with a recent order to partly terminate the contract.
According to Sen. Francis Escudero, a joint Senate committee inquiry into the questionable procurement contract entered into by Department of National Defense (DND) with RASI will start after the Holy Week break.
Escudero, who heads the Senate Committee on Finance, said his committee intends to focus on how well the DND utilized funds that it had been allocated by Congress in getting the best equipment for Filipino troops.
The Senate finance committee is one of three Senate panels that will look into the allegedly anomalous procurement contact, which was first reported by The Manila Times.
The two other panels are those on accountability of public officers and investigations (blue ribbon) and on national defense and security.
It was Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito who filed Senate Resolution 1238 asking for an inquiry, in aid of legislation, on the allegedly anomalous procurement of 21 UH-1 helicopters last 2013 as part of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) modernization program.
Ejercito, in his resolution, said if reports about the supposed failure of the supplier to comply with the contract’s Terms of Reference (TOR) were found to be true, then there was clear violation of law and a prima facie wastage of taxpayers’ money.
Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, has also filed a separate resolution directing the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security to look into implementation of the revised AFP modernization program in light of alleged irregularities.