MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman is imposing administrative sanctions on 11 police officers over the purchase of P131 million worth of defective rubber boats in 2009.
In a 118-page decision, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said Chief Superintendent Herold Ubalde and Police Deputy Director General Benjamin Belarmino, Jr. were found guilty of gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct over the rubber boat deal.
The Ombudsman said the 2 police officers should be sacked and stripped of their retirement benefits as well as disqualification from returning to work for any branch of government.
Facing a six-month suspension are Police Director George Piano, Chief Superintendent Luis Saligumba, Senior Superintendent Job Nolan Antonio, Senior Superintendent Edgar Paatan and other members of the PNP’s Inspection and Acceptance Committee for approving the deal.
The Ombudsman also imposed a one-month suspension on Joel Garcia alias Joel Crisostomo de Leon Garcia, Ronald Lee, Ma. Linda Padojinog and Ruben Gongona, all of whom are members of the Philippine National Police national headquarters bids and awards committee and technical working group.
In an earlier resolution, the Ombudsman describes the procurement of 75 police rubber boats and 18 spare engines or outboard motors in 2008.
It said the PNP National Headquarters Bids and Awards Committee resorted to negotiated procurement in response to the destruction wrought by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.
However, the Ombudsman panel noted the boats and outboard motors were never used for the purpose since these were delivered only after 6 months.
It said that upon delivery of the boats and motors, the PNP Maritime Group through its Technical Inspection Committee on Watercrafts (MG-TICW) "discovered various deficiencies in these equipment, which make their use risky to end-users." It said the boats and engines were not functional when fitted together, thus, unusable for PNP's disaster operation efforts.
The Ombudsman said the PNP entered into 4 supply contracts, all dated December 18, 2009, with the following suppliers: EnviroAire for the supply of 93 units of OBMs with contract price of P44,175,000; EnviroAire for the supply of 10 units of PRB with contract price of P11,650,000; Geneve for the supply of 41 units of PRB with contract price of P47,765,000; and Bay Industrial for the supply of 10 units of PRB with contract price of P11,650,000. Report by Johnson Manabat, radio dzMM