An internal panel of investigators that probed a P1.2-billion helicopter acquisition project has cleared key Defense department officials who were suspected of involvement in the allegedly anomalous transaction.
This was revealed to members of the House Committee on National Defense and Security in a recent hearing by Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino, who headed the panel.
Batino said the procurement process, which led to grant of a negotiated supply contract to RASI, complied with the Government Procurement Law and its revised implementing rules and regulations.
He added that the negotiated contract had been awarded to Rice Aircraft Services Inc. (RASI) after three previous biddings for the UH-1 acquisition project failed.
The procedure, Batino said, is allowed under the procurement law.
“Each declaration of a failed bidding and the eventual negotiated mode of procurement were done in accordance with the requirements of the law. In fact, the failed biddings were declared due to the failure of the proponents who submitted bids to provide an acceptable set of complete bid documents, with the exception of the second bid where the winning bidder failed the post-qualification evaluation,” he told lawmakers.
Batino said the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) of the Department of National Defense (DND) complied with all publication requirements during the bidding process and issued letters of invitation to many prospective proponents during the negotiation procurement stage.