Defense bought wrong choppers


FOR P2.8 billion, the Defense department could have bought attack helicopters that have night-flying capability and advanced weaponry but what was delivered were eight choppers that could hardly fit a machine gun on each side.

Because of this, Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin said they would call for an investigation on the purchase of eight Sokol combat utility helicopters that were criticized by President Benigno Aquino 3rd during his State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday.

Gazmin said that while the Chief Executive did order an investigation on the controversial choppers, the Defense department would still have to study the matter.

“We will study it,” Gazmin told reporters but begged off to answer other questions surrounding the acquisition.

In an invitation to bid for the aircraft, the DND specified that the attack helicopters should have full night operation capability and complete weapons system and integrated logistics support package.

“These helicopters shall be capable of performing Close Air Support during day and night, and navigate safely during Inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Condition,” it said.

“Furthermore, they shall be equipped with armaments and avionics system highly suitable for said flying operation conditions,” it added.

The Defense chief admitted that the helicopters’ classification is “combat utility helicopter” but they cannot be used in combat because the machine gun need to be removed first before one soldier could board it.

This was the same point raised by President Aquino in his SONA.

Part of the probe would be to determine the price discrepancies between an attack helicopter and one that is used for “utility”

Gazmin said that since the acquired choppers have no combat capability, they would instead be used for search and rescue operations, especially since each aircraft has a dual powerful engine and an auto pilot system.

Records showed that there are eight W-1 Sokol helicopters in the Air Force’s arsenal. They were supplied by Augusta PZL-Swidnik Co. of Poland.

A check on the Internet showed that Sokol’s are not really designed for combat. In many countries, Sokols are used to transport VIPs, cargo, medevac, firefighting and search and rescue.

The Philippines was listed among few countries that retrofitted Sokols for combat operations.

The contract for the aircraft’s acquisition was sealed in 2009 during the time of former Defense secretary Norberto Gonzales.

The delivery of the helicopters, however, was consummated during the time of Gazmin. The first six were delivered last year while the two others arrived in February.

The money used to buy the Sokols was sourced from the national budget and the AFP Modernization Act Trust Fund.


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  1. The media should play a big roll in politics to remove corruptions. The media should advertised what is going on the government and politics . Should encourage transparency /openness in the congress,senate and the palace. Media should advertise each pork barrel given to politicians to where the money spent, so we the people will know who to vote nextime. I very much believe that only the media can destroy corruptions.

  2. ano sa palagay nyo.. bobo ang mga mamamayang Pilipino para paniwalaan kayo? kita namang hindi talaga mag fit, “we will study” parin. nasasayang ang mga perang pinaghirapan nang taong bayan.

  3. peter_parker on

    Isang Apache helicopter lang kailangan ng pilipinas ubos ang kalabang terorista sa bansa, dapat yun nlng ang binili..panoorin nyo youtube or liveleak ang mga operation ng apache sa afghanistan.

  4. Mr . Secretary , para yatang pumapalpak ang departamento mo sana ipatupad mo ung “”TWO CORNER STONE “” ibig sabihin “”double checking and teamwork””
    para nmn makasigurado tayo na hindi palpak ang binibili natin gamit ,,,

    Sand storm Dubai cHAPTER

  5. The bottom line here is that the responsibility lies in the two Secretaries of Defense ie. Mr Gonzales and Mr. Gazmin. During the time or even before Pnoy assumed the Presidency in 2010, you would think that these Defense secretaries got together to discus the over all situation at the department. It was incumbent upon Mr. Gazmin to know every thing that was going on at DND at that time, and the responsibility of Mr. Gonzales to explain to Mr. Gazmin, including but not limited to the purchase of equipment that is still undelivered.The failure to verify by Mr. Gazmin the kind of Helicopter that the President wanted at the time, if known lies on Mr. Gazmin. Three years is a long time for Mr. Gazmin to verify and cancel if not the one the President wanted. This whole thing has caused a very serious embarrassment to DND. I hope that this is just an honest mistake, but not as a result of corruption, it’s suspicious indeed.

  6. What’s new,recently the PNP bought rubberboats which could not be fitted with the right engine,and now these choppers,later on who knows,glock pistols for policemen which jammed in firefight.hahaha.somebody up there MADE BILLIONS AGAIN FROM THIS CHOPPER PURCHASE.

  7. Ito maliwanag pas sa sikat ng araw prosecute gonzales and all those responsible for the purchase of this equipment. Tiyak ko nariyan pang iba na nagpapproved niyang kalokohan na iyan.

  8. Even if true that the contract was signed under the GMA administration, this current administration had enough time(3 years)to cancel it before delivery just like they did with the Belgian flood control project and other approved projects under the previous administration.Looks like the President knows a lot more about these helicopters than his Sec. of Defense, Gazmin, who when asked on the subject could only answer “we will study it”. Now we don’t know if the President is lying or Gen. Gazmin is just stupid.