• CHOPPER DEAL WHISTLEBLOWER TO TELL ALL

    ‘Huge kickbacks’

    19

    THE whistleblower in the “defective” P1.2-billion helicopter deal between the Department of National Defense (DND) and a foreign aircraft supplier is raring to blow the lid off the allegedly onerous contract and name top officials who either got or were “promised” huge kickbacks from the deal, involving the supply of 21 refurbished “Hueys.”

    “Joey,” a source of The Manila Times who has provided the paper with voluminous documents showing discrepancies and other “violations” of the P1.2-billion supply contract, was meeting a ranking official of Congress on Tuesday to hand over digital copies of the “evidence.”

    In an interview, he said he will bare all, including disclosure on the “5-12 percent” kickbacks that allegedly went into the pockets of some unscrupulous Defense officials who were involved in negotiations with Rice Aircraft Services Inc. (RASI) and its partner, Eagle Copters Ltd of Canada, for the supply of 21 UH-1 helicopters.

    “I will disclose all these in an affidavit which I am preparing. I am willing to testify in any credible investigative body about what I know about this deal. I am doing this for the country and not for anything else. I know this is hard but this thing must be stopped for the sake of our pilots and our Armed Forces,” according to “Joey.”

    During the meeting with a lawmaker, who earlier vowed to call for an inquiry into the matter, the whistleblower said he would ask for “immunity and protection.” “Even if the Ombudsman would ask me to share what I know, I will. But I will request protection from them and Congress for my family,” the source said.

    “Joey” requested that his real identity be kept secret until the affidavit has been signed.

    To give The Times a glimpse of the extent of his involvement in the controversial chopper deal, the whistleblower said he was “neck-deep” in it.

    “The issue on commissions is a matter of personal knowledge. The DND [Department of national Defense] official even discussed it with me,”The Times source added.

    “Joey” said he will reveal the identities of the DND officials soon, including the former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) official who acted as “agent” for the helicopter supplier.

    The informant claimed that RASI committed “5 percent” of the contract price as the AFP official’s commission. Another “7 percent” was promised to be given to a higher DND official upon conclusion of the project.

    The source, however, doubted that the 7 percent commission would actually go to the “higher” DND official, who is known to be “straight.”

    “When [subordinate DND official]told me that [higher DND official]is getting 7 percent, I really doubted it,” “Joey” said. “You can reveal their names once the affidavit is okay,” he added.

    One of the officials was key to RASI bagging the P1.2-billion supply contract because Robert Rice, the president of the aircraft firm, had dealings with him in the past. In one transaction, the informant alleged that money was wire-transferred to the bank account of the DND official, who was then serving in one of the branches of the Philippine military.

    “Rice even told me that he gave cash amounting to $500,000 to [the official],” “Joey” said. “This can be checked through the AMLC [Anti-Money Laundering Council],” she added.

    The previous deal also involved the supply of a helicopter.

    Meanwhile, the informant alleged that RASI should have been “blacklisted” as early as the second bidding for the chopper project after Defense officials discovered that the company “faked” some of the documents it submitted to pre-qualify, including a supposed contract with the Tunisian armed forces.

    Government inspectors in 2013 found out that RASI violated the terms of the bid when it “lied” about having “completed” the Tunisian supply contract when, in fact, the project was left unfinished and the company remained unpaid.

    “Joey” also provided The Times copies of documents pertaining to the supposed Tunisian deal, including an exchange of emails between a representative of RASI and a local military inspector who gave the company “tips” on how to go about the “Tunisian problem.”

    The Times withheld publication of the email exchanges as it may be contrary to law.

    “Joey” said he would subject the matter to the perusal of future investigators.

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    19 Comments

    1. Mr. Sr. Reporter, your article is all over the place. I’m not sure if it is merely poorly written or an attempt to sow confusion. First of all, the 5% agent’s commission to the ex-AFP official is above board since as you know, foreign companies cannot conduct business in the PH without local representation. Now, if your source does not know if the 7% kickback was paid to the ‘higher up’ DND official, why bring it up at all. Now for the $500,000 cash payment given to an AFP official, are you still referring to the ex-AFP agent/representative??

      And why the heck didn’t you bring this up in your first article? This would have been the bigger news! Or are you merely inventing this as you go along?

    2. westphilippines on

      Mr Reporter,

      This 1.2 billion helicopter deal is not surprising. Better check the deal on one of the government bank to a private company grossly under capitalized to avail of more than 2.5 billion loan. To date it is continuously bleeding the bank! Check the people behind this onerous arrangement.

    3. keep them coming. very regaling indeed. i wonder what kind of defense will aquino come up with again to absolve his in deep s***t crook allies. sickening!!!

    4. This current crops of Generals in the AFP where officers during Marcos regime they were trained to corrupt not to fight.Need to overhaul the AFP with a new breed of Generals.

    5. Make sure this reporter stand to its facts and figures with truthfulness as this will lead surely to COA investigations from all the Bids Committee of the DND and PAF. One false accusations may lead to his credibility and to the Manila Times legacy of news reporting.

    6. When it rains, it pours! The cloud build up has been going on for sometime, but people thinks it’s just fleeting as they still can see the sunshine.

    7. They never learn because they have never been sent to hell. How do we describe these lowlifes? There is no word in the dictionary that is sufficiently adequate to describe these “gago”. Will somebody squeeze their necks like what is seen in the movies?

    8. Does this surprise anyone. Corruption is a way of life in the Philippines. The rich get richer through corruption and the people of the Philippines don’t get a fair deal. In every speech the Pope said the Philippines must stop corruption to progress in a civilised world. But unfortunately the Lawmakers Officials and Barangay didn’t hear his holiness with their heads deep in the troughs gorging on the decent peoples money.

    9. I wonder if the reporter just gave away the informant’s identity by identifying the person as “she”???

    10. Vicente Penetrante on

      If ‘KKK’s are invovlved, De Lima’s NBI might say the signatures were forged.

    11. Of course people got kickbacks, whats so surprising about that. Its how it works in this country. All politicians know this as all are guilty since getting into power of also receiving kickbacks. There isnt a decent honest person in this country. Every filipino i know would accept a bribe. An example, when i first moved here we bought our house in a nice subdivision. we became friends with a brit & his filipino wife who had lived in the uk for many many years. We were having an extension uilt on our house & she recomended a builder to us who had worked for her. He did a lousy job & we are still suffering from the build until now. Now when this builder did work for her he also did a bad job there & she was very angry with him but he told her get work for me & i will give you a commission. So she sold her soul to the devil as every other filipino would also do. & i must add her & her husband are much more financially better off than my wife & i. But to her honesty & integrity goes out of the window when there is money involved & thats the case with 99% of filipinos.

    12. Abangan. This is a typical introduction to would be bombshell: raise first the curiosity of the people before divulging it and see the reaction of the public. It is obviously being managed. Let’s see. I’m indeed curious.

      • apolonio reyes on

        WOW TALAGA JoeVee, KUNG TUTOO !!!! Hindi lang ito P1.2B itong CORRUPTION at Mas Malaki pa duon sa PNP Helicopter Deal na 2nd hand deal ni FIRST GENTELMAN di umano, pero brand new nang delivered dito. Samantala yuon diniliver ng RASI SA AFP AY LUMA, OBSOLUTE, DI MAKALIPAD, NA GINAMIT PA NUON VIETNAM WAR AT WALA NANG PARTS. ITO BA ANG SINASABI NI PNOY NA PWEDE SANANG MAPADALA SA MAMASAPANO, PAPAANO? ITO BA ANG DAAN MATUWID NI PNOY ? WOW MALI, DI BA JOEY DE LEON?

    13. Cres Malifier on

      BS Aquino’s Tuwid na Daan boast is a lot of hot air! Magnanakaw din pala ang mga Hudas na ito!

    14. jua nationalist on

      How come you never mention the kickbacks of Binay, Unggoy Estrada, Revilla and others. You don’t even mention the denial of the Supreme Court in regards to Estrada’s motion for consideration (Rvilla and Estradashould just return all the kickbacks that they stole from the government .