Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito has filed a resolution asking the Senate blue ribbon committee to investigate the allegedly anomalous procurement of 21 UH-1 combat helicopters by the Department of National Defense (DND).
Senate Resolution 1238, which Ejercito filed on Monday, wants the Committee on Accountability of Public Officers and Investigations (blue ribbon) to look into the P1.2-billion chopper contract that was reportedly full of irregularities.
“We have to look into this deal because P1.2-billion worth of choppers that cannot be used and have obsolete parts are disadvantageous to the AFP [Armed Forces of the Philippines] Modernization Program,” Ejercito, a member of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, said.
The DND last week announced that an internal committee had been created to investigate the alleged anomaly.
The committee would be led by Defense Undersecretary Pio Lorenzo Batino.
The allegedly anomalous transaction was exposed by The Manila Times based on documents and interviews with “Joey,” who claimed he was privy to the deal.
“Joey” said the contract covering the deal was “tailor-fitted” to favor a particular bidder, a joint venture between Rice Aircraft Services and Eagle Copters Ltd.
Ejercito’s resolution cited The Times report that the UH-1D units that were delivered by the supplier to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) did not comply with the project contract’s Terms of Reference (TOR).
The Times source welcomed the filing of the Senate resolution, saying such “will do the country good.”
According to “Joey,” the Senate inquiry will “open up more cans of worms,” saying his previous revelations were just “appetizers.”
“If called to appear before the Senate, I will abide. I am very much willing to participate and bare everything that I know and share the loads of evidence that I have in my possession. I am not doing this for money or for myself. I am doing this for the country. The Philippine Air Force, the DND, the government and the Filipino people deserve better!” “Joey” told The Times.
He said he hopes that the Senate blue ribbon committee headed by Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd would schedule a hearing immediately as he had received information that a court case is being readied by those involved in the transaction in a bid to stop him from further making the issue public.
“Joey” expressed concerns that he might not be allowed to further divulge information on the chopper deal, the moment a case is filed in court.