Military should stop buying junk – JV

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SENATOR Joseph Victor Ejercito called on the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to stop buying second hand equipment that could put the lives of soldiers at risk.

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He made the call a day after a Philippine Air Force (PAF) helicopter crashed in Mindanao. Nine people were hurt when a UH-1D helicopter crash-landed in Sitio Lamsalo in Barangay Upper Suyan in Malapatan town, Sarangani province on Saturday.

Ejercito, one of three senators who filed a resolution calling for a Senate investigation into the “anomalous” deal to acquire P1.2 billion UH-1D second-hand helicopters, said he will ask the Senate Blue Ribbon committee to resume the inquiry.

The senator noted that dilapidated military equipment does not only pose a risk to its users but to the public as well.

Ejercito said he cannot understand why the Defense department would insist on purchasing used helicopters instead of buying brand new ones.

The lawmaker noted that buying “antiquated” equipment is not allowed even in local government units, and yet, the DND decided to buy “40-year-old to 50-year-old helicopters.”

Ejercito said he will ask the Blue Ribbon panel chaired by Senator Teofisto Guingona 3rd to resume hearings on the chopper deal which has been on hold since July.

Capt. Alberto Caber, spokesman of the military’s Eastern Mindanao Command, said the pilot and crew onboard the helicopter were transporting the remains of a soldier as well as five injured soldiers from the Army’s 73rd Infantry Battalion when it crashed after being pounded by strong winds.

The UH-1D helicopter was part of the 21 combat utility helicopters acquired under the controversial P1.2 billion procurement deal between the DND and the joint venture of RASI and Eagle Copters Inc., represented by Robert Rice.

Of the 21 helicopters, the DND accepted eight units despite alleged defects and the failure of the supplier to comply with the specifications stated in the terms of reference (TOR) of the project.

The irregularity was exposed by The Manila Times. The source of the story, Rhodora Alvarez, is now under the witness protection program of the government.

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7 Comments

  1. The Philippines has been rubbed since the era of Cory Aquino until now inherented by his Rock-star Son Noynoy Aquino. This is THE DARKEST ERA of Philippines. I hope we can survive of this catastrophe by Saint Satan Aquino’s. We need to hold our breath and hold-on until the new President come. I hope BBM will win in his VP race.
    God bless Philippines.

  2. Peter Gonzales on

    To prosecute and put these crooks in the Department of Defense headed by Gazmin and Manalo is impossible under the Abnoy administration. The only option we have is to elect an honest and competent leaders in next year’s election. Only then we can be hopeful that corrupt government officials like BS Abnoy Aquino, Abad, Drilon, Donkey Soliman will suffer the ignominy of imprisonment.

  3. benjamin brillantes on

    dapat alisan ng sweldo ang mga tonggresmen at dapsenador para may pambili ng bagong chopper

  4. Of course, the kickback from a used equipment is larger than a brand new one. Why, because if a brand new equipment is priced too high for a certain brand or manufactured one, it can easily by compared to other brand of the same features, while a used equipment will be very difficult to look for comparisons.

  5. pagdating po sa budget, wala naman po tayong nabalitaan na dineny o ni reject ng Congress ang proposed budget ng Malakanyang…kadalasan, kung ano ang request, yun ang inaaprubahan ng kongreso…nasa mga departament ng executive ang detalye ng kanilang mga gustong pondohan. kung brand new o refurbished ang bibilhin…kung ilan ang bibilhin…

    tatanggihan ba ng kongreso ang plano ng modernisasyon sa AFP? Wala naman po sigurong kokontrang mambabatas sa layuning ito. Kaya nga nagkaroon ng pagdinig sa senado upang alamin kung bakit sa kabila ng may budget na nakalaan sa DND, ay mga segunda-manong UH-1D choppers ang dumating sa ating PAF…kaya nga may pagdinig ay upang maiwasan na sa susunod na procurement ang mga kahalintulad na anomalya…kaligtasan po ng ating mga kasundaluhan ang nakasalalay dito kasama na ang ating publiko.

  6. It appears to me that this problem should have been solved years ago. The AFP should have modern weapons, ordinance, aircraft, etc. Military hardware is expensive, rather costly. Example, one fighter, without the training, supply, avionics, spare parts, fuel, lubricants. You get the idea. I would asking my representatives where the funding went? More over, I would be screaming to have restitution and perhaps incarceration be initiated. You get what you pay for.

  7. eh sino ba ang ayaw increase ang budget ng AFP di ba kayo lahat diyan mga politickos kung hindi pa ini expose ito ng media hindi malaman ng publiko. kayo ang ang mga bobo diyan. too late now isn’t they already paid these junk choppers. unless you can jail those crooks. di wala rin.