Overspending, overpricing scams stinking up DND


A full no-nonsense congressional investigation into the anomalous procurement contracts of the Department of Defense (DND) should expose the plunderers of public funds supposedly intended to upgrade the Armed Forces’ capability.

This is a compelling issue that the Senate’s blue ribbon committee or its committee on finance or defense or all three must seriously look into, as this involves massive graft and corruption scams at Camp Aguinaldo.

This is also another indication how ineffective and inutile Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin has been at his post.

Gazmin’s department embarked on the “modernization” of the military in view of increasing internal and external threats to our national security.

It turned out that such efforts to upgrade the military are also used by some officials as their means to upgrade their wealth by fleecing the DND.

We tackled last week one anomalous P1.2 billion project wherein the DND awarded to foreign partners the contract to supply the Philippine Air Force with 21 UH-1H Huey helicopters.

Instead the obsolete and defective UH-1D type, and only nine of the 21 units ordered, have been delivered.

Today, we take on this other questionable DND decision to purchase 28 M113 armored personnel carriers (APCs) for P880 million instead of shipping in 114 units of M113 donated by the United States.

It turnsout that the 21 M113s bought from Israel, each of which costs at least P31.4 million, are third-hand APCs previously used in Belgium, US and Israel.

In my tele-radyo 5 interview with Defense undersecretary Ferdinand Manalo, he could not justify the DND’s decision to purchase 28 M113 APCs from Israel instead of spending less on transporting the 114 APCs from the US.

Manalo could only mention that the Vietnam vintage 28 APCs or tanks bought are refurbished and upgraded.

Just the same, those US donated APCs might actually be in better shape and could have been equipped with .50 caliber M2 machine guns.

Like Manalo, Philippine Army spokesperson Lt. Col. Noel Detoyato could also not explain the logic of the DND’s purchase decision except that it stinks.

It is imperative that Manalo and his boss Gazmin must explain and justify this DND move, overspending on 28 40-year old M113 APCs instead of just shipping in fouor times more units given free by the US. It’s a no brainer–28 costing P880 million versus 118 units for free!

Gazmin must also respond to reports that “a relative” of his actually brokered this unnecessary P880 million procurement project.

Apparently, the Noynoy administration’s military modernization program has only benefited his cronies at Camp Aquinaldo.

So much with “matuwid na daan.”

Senator JV Ejercito has called for a Senate probe into these DND irregularities.

The question is: Will Sen. Franklin Drilon’s shameless and vindictive leadership allow an inquiry into these overspending and overpricing scams at DND?

Why, Drilon himself still has a lot of explaining to do about some overpricing in the Iloilo Convention Center.

Gazmin must face the music if he is proven to have abused his power or exercised grave indiscretion in approving DND’s shady deals.

Meanwhile, China has continued to expand its claim on South China Sea (which we now call West Philippine Sea.)

And the killing fields of Maguindanao are now controlled by local and foreign terrorists who vow loyalty to other countries. They have built more training camps.

Resurgent communist insurgents have increasingly caused casualties on Armed Forces troops.

Abu Sayyaf groups continue their kidnapping activity with sheer impunity in the Muslim South.

Clearly, the AFP’s modernization program has barely improved the sad state of the military’s capabilities to defend the country.

But, DND’s spending spree has obviously enriched some crooks at Camp Aguinaldo.

Clearly, Aqiuno’s anti-corruption drive is only applicable to its enemies.




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  1. Challenge ito sa Ombudsman, COA at BIR. Lifestyle check! Lifestyle check! Lifestyle check!
    Except kung naka ” Stand Down” din kayo…

  2. A final note: we need the best OUR money can buy. And that’s just the point, it’s our MONEY (every tax payers hard-earned money). What we DON’T NEED are men like mr. langhap and mga “janet napoles” at the BAC

  3. True. There must be “good buys” by the DND/AFP. DAPAT LANG! Ang tanong: asan ang sukli? Matibay ba? Dumaan ba sa tamang proseso o may mga YUMAMAN sa proseso?
    The point is fellow patriots, lets keep our “eyes on the ball”. Sino-sino’ng nag-pahirap at sino-sino ang mga NAGPAYAMAN.

  4. LAGING may mga opisyal na mas mahal ang sarili at naka-tingin lang sa promotion at dag-dag na “estrella” (stars)… the tragedy of Mamasapano is but a reflection and culmination of these kind of men hiding behind uniform. Kawawang mga sundalo…

  5. Why “lagging” for years and years? Kasi, LAGING may mga corrupt at mga nagbubulag-bulagan at nagbibingi-bingihan… LAGING may naka-kontra at kontrabida nanibili ng PERA.

  6. To my fellow filipino, comrades and patriots, the call for vigilance is serious! So, let us not shoot each other nor shoot the messengers… beware of the unprincipled, corrupt and “fattened” officials, even the media who works for the right price. Simple Lang ang issue: the Lagging Modernization of the AFP

  7. Qoute from article: “Today, we take on this other questionable DND decision to purchase 28 M113 armored personnel carriers (APCs) for P880 million instead of shipping in 114 units of M113 donated by the United States.”

    The 28 M113 from Israel are M113 that are refurbished and are upgraded with modern equipment like thermal/night viewing system with either a canon, machine gun, or a torret gun that can be remotely operated and remotely fired from inside the APC. The refurbishmend and the high tech equipment that these M113 will be fitted cost money. Unlike those 114 units of M113 that is granted by the U.S. to the Philippines, they don’t have any modern equipment fitted with them or any canon, machine guns, or torret gun. They are barebones and given in an “as-is” condition. The 28 unit of M113 that are upgraded with modern equipment plus the 114 unit donated from the U.S. are actually a good deal for the tax payer and to the AFP because they are getting more bang for their buck. Mr. Tulfo, if you understand it a little more, you would not be saying malicious things against this deal because like I said, it is a great deal. Mr. Tulfo, please don’t ruin the initiative by the DND to acquire equipment for the military because the military are in badly need of equipment. The military need these kind of equipment badly. Just look at the Zamboaga seige some time back, if the military would have gotten those 28 unit of M113 that are refurbished and upgraded with modern equipment plus the 114 unit of APC’s, the military operation against those rogue MNLF would have been defeated a lot sooner and quicker if they had at least the kind of fire support with thermal and night viewing targeting system to punch through those MNLF positions. Those could of been used to blitzkrieg the enemy position and overwhelmed them before they have much time to react. Or those Upgraded and not upgraded M113 could have been used for blocking, containing, and punch through against enemy positions. Please Mr. Tulfo, maawa ka naman. Don’t kill this deal because there is nothing wrong with it and its a good deal for the military and for the tax payer.

  8. Actually the 114 APC’s M113 A2 IS A grant from the US and a surplus from their stocks hardware since they upgraded it to a new APC stryker.the 28 M113 A2 APC will be upgraded a new modern weaponry automated remote systems with 12.7mm machine guns and 25mm cannon. I think the first batch 14 APC upgraded in weaponry will be delivered by May and the second 10 by july this year..this upgrade will be done by elbeit Sysrem Land C41 of Israel..with a Budget of P800 million plus..for your reference please see Max Defense,com.

  9. I read your report mr tulfo but if you had your sources in the defence department look further there are 142 M113a2’s coming in from US surplus stocks within the year. These are the “free” APC’s that you are wondering about. Also there are no such thing as free in defence materiel being issued. Most countries boot the bill in refurbishing , maintenance and any upgrade requested by the receiving country if it is not within the letter of the agreement. So the philippine military did not say no to “free” M113’s. Regarding your question regarding the M113’s coming from israel – these units are heavily upgraded to the requirements mandated by the Philippine army in the fire support role. These upgrades if your compatriots researched this further is why those M113’s are expensive than the “free” ones. There are no new M113’s built sir only refurbished or upgraded so even if it is a “old” APC it is a good workhorse. The Philippines does not have the budget to buy new vehicles. It hopes to get the best value with what it can afford. I respectfully hope this comment is posted to avoid unbiased views you guys are spouting.

  10. Alexander Ali on

    The Filipino people should be vigilant in nowadays because there are people in the government who are corrupt and still occupying juicy position in the government. Similarly, we have to be be extra careful among the Media personalities for concocting stories based on their unfounded and malicious reporting. Erwin Tulfo has been rumored to be among the journalist who do not posses credibility in the journalist parlance. If there are people in the government who should be removed I believe the like of Erwin Tulfo in the Media should also be amputated. He is one of the most irresponsible media person in the country who become famous unfortunately. Yes he is courageous and brave but like some politicians, brave, courageous and corrupt. Ang tanong ko kay Erwin, Magkano naman ito? or prove your case kung totoo.

  11. MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine Army will acquire 28 armored personnel carriers (APCs) from Israel to beef up its arsenal and avert deaths of soldiers during encounters with terrorists and other enemies of the state.

    The Army will also get 100 APCs donated by the US government….. Philstar March 23, 2015

    This is an article from Philstar that the AFP will be getting the 28 from Israel and 100 from the US Government.

    Tulfo please get your facts straight.

  12. I might add that just because the DND Secretary and Undersecretary can’t answer your question does not infer guilt. It just means they don’t know. However, a simple Internet search will reveal the TOR requirements for the Elbit-supplied APC’s and how they will be outfitted. These APC’s will be the most modern and effective armored vehicles the AFP has ever operated by far.

    As in the case of the UH-1D’s, there is a lot of misinformation being passed to the public. I do believe the DND needs better PR to educate the public about their modernization programs. Those of us in the know do not see anything anomalous about these deals.

  13. Also Investigate the vintage BRP Alcaraz and BRP Del Pilar (1960’s). . . . Modernization ba matatawag ung bumili ng barko na gawa 1960?????

    • mr renan, those ships were granted to us by the US gov’t as they are excess articles from the coast guard. we were looking for high endurance ships that can patrol the south china seas even in bad weather. We only shelled out money to buy and put in the equipment the US coast guard pulled out to equip their newer ships. We could not afford newer ships on the time frame alloted- we needed the ships quickly to start patrolling against chinese encroachments of our territory and protection of malampaya fields. We still cannot afford modern ships that can compare to bigger countries. We do not have the political or the national will to come up with a proper budget for defence. Unfortunately corruption by politicos and some officers is bleeding the defence budget.

  14. Mr. Reporter, you have your facts wrong. The 114 APC’s shipped from the U.S. are refurbished ex-US Army stock with NO upgrades basic weaponry, e.g., .50 cal and 7.62 mm manually sighted and manually fired guns. The 28 coming from Israel consist of ex-US or ex-Israeli M-113’s upgraded by Elbit with brand new drivetrain, spaced armor for better protection and survivability, and sophisticated targetting systems that will allow the crew to fire their weapons from inside the vehicle. I believe 14 will be fitted with ex-Scorpion 76mm turrets with upgraded targetting systems and motorized operation, 6 will have .50 cal remote control weapons station, 4 will have 20 mm remote control weapons station and 4 will be in armored recovery configuration. These will be much, much more sophisticated and heavily armed than the M113A2’s coming from the U.S. They are actually a bargain if you ask me, and will better protect our soldiers.

  15. What a misleading and seriously under-researched article. First, the UH-1D are not obsolete nor defective and are basically German-made UH-1Hs and have been modified to the point where it is superior to any UH-1H variant. 2nd point, the article fails to mention that the M113s are from US stocks and modified by Elbit USA, and the payment was for the modifications and not for the vehicle itself. The Elbit-modified M113s will have remote weapons systems with .50 cal and 25mm guns which makes it vastly superior to regular M113s with manually operated weapons. Half of the Elbit M113s will also have 76mm light tank turrets installed turning them into Fire Support Vehicles, something regular M113s cannot do.

  16. Did it not cross anybody’s mind that the 28 M113-A2 from Israel will be uparmed than your ordinary M113-A2 that the US is donating through it’s EDA program. The ones from Israel will be fitted with the turrets from the former Scorpion vehicles of the AFP this will serve as fire support vehicle due to having a bigger gun than your ordinary machine gun armed M113-A2. They can deal with entrenched enemy positions with their guns. Some will also be fitted with RCWS – thats remote controlled weapon stations – yes that’s right, our soldiers no longer need to stick their head out of the APC just to shoot at the bad guy, they can now shoot at the bad guy from the relative safety of the inside of the APC. The RCWS will also be night vision capable ensuring that they can fight even in the dark, giving our soldiers a greater advantage. Also there will be ARV’s – that’s armored recovery vehicle so that if ever your APC gets taken out if action during the fighting, you have something similarly armored that could go ahead and recover it to safety. So the bottomline is we need both the EDA donation from the US as those will be give us badly needed armor for our soldiers who are increasingly being victimized by landmines from the Neps and would provide additional stocks that we could up-armor and upgrade with RCWS or bigger turreted guns. The ones from Israel are equally important as their upgraded weapons and armor will keep our soldiers safer and be more effective against the bad guys.

  17. Tuwid na daan my foot, sa bawat piso na ginagastos sa mga project kuno mapa military spending or civilian man 25% nyan kay PDAP king 25% sa proyekto at 50% hati hati na sa magpapatakbo at sa mga tauhan nya…

  18. Kilala po yan lalo na sa BAC. At syempre ng mga tiwaling opisyal sa AFP at DND. “Open Secret” ika nga!
    God bless Manila Times for standing for the truth.

  19. Btw sir Erwin, pasyal po kayo sa DND at ipagtanong nyo… kung may “janet napoles” na pork-barrel queen [wag nawa mabaon sa limot], mayroon din po’ng “diversion diva” malapit at makapit kina mr. langhap

  20. I agree and many at the AFP have suffered silently for years! Infact, mas marami pa sa SAF 44 (God bless SAF!) ang mga sundalo, marines, army at piloto ang “pinatay” dahil sa mga depektibong gamit at TIWALIN pagtitipid. Daw!!!

  21. Every country buys military capability. Now how do they do this without corruption. Take my country, england, how do they do it. Then when we know that why doesnt the philippines copy tht system to stop corruption. I think because every single person involved wants a slice of the cake. They know some will get a pay off so they also want a pay off. Thats how it works here in the philippines. They should be jaied for life without parole when caught & only punishments like that will stop these people. But they need to be caught.

  22. If the law on evidence states “circumstantial” evidence as a smoking gun, super POLLUTED na hangin natin. Sa dami ng hindi nakikitang lifestyle ng mga so called lingkod ng bayan. Mam Henares, pakitignan po mga “relo”, garahe, tambayan, bilang ng bahay at mga binabahay ng mga sweldihang empleyafong ito. Please@

  23. Sa wakas may nagka-lakas loob din to sound the alarm. Godspeed Mr. TULFO esp. to the “whistle blower”. It’s about time… but, take note, sir, baka hindi mapasin si mr. Langhap sarap also from DND (exposed by another network… it seems hanggang dun n lng!). Lifestyle check Lang ang kailangan dyan sa mga #%$!!!

    • upgraded yung 28 apcs from israel. remote weapon systems para sa 50cal at 20mm(some say 25) with special optics for night operations. yung ibang turrets ng scorpions ilalagay sa 14 apcs. Yung galing US, as is where is. And although so called “donated”, they were grants thru USs EDA.

      So ganon, porket libre, good buy na?

  24. Ecclesiastes on

    This AFP modernization which this present inconsequntial Regime led by an inept president is bragging about is just a propaganda ops to enhance the popularity of this inept president. The general public must realize that modernization is not just the procurement of the latest equipment for the AFP but firstly, it must involve a genuine institutional reform otherwise, this modern equipment will just go to wastage….And this inept president is crowing that his mantra of “tuwid na daan” will take care of this. But down the bureaucracy and the AFP included knows that this mantra is just a JOKE to hitch the naive general public into a ferris wheel like ride….