Ombudsman affirms dismissal of cops in helicopter deal

By Michael Punongbayan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Nov 24 2012 08:43 AM | Updated as of Nov 25 2012 02:31 AM

MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman has affirmed its decision to dismiss from the service 14 police officials and personnel and suspend for six months six other policemen for their alleged involvement in the purchase of second-hand helicopters for the Philippine National Police (PNP) in 2009 and 2010.

In a 49-page order signed on Nov. 19, 2012, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales denied for lack of merit the appeals filed by Director Leocadio Santiago Jr., Chief Superintendent Herold Ubalde, Chief Supt. Luis Saligumba, Supt. Ermilando Villafuerte, Supt. Roman Loreto, Senior Supt. Job Nolan Antonio, Director George Piano, Senior Supt. Edgar Paatan, Senior Supt. Mansue Lukban, Chief Inspector Maria Josefina Vidal Recometa, Senior Supt. Claudio Gaspar Jr., Senior Police Officer 3 Ma. Linda A. Padojinog, PO3 Avensuel Dy, and Ruben Gongona.

She also denied the motions for reconsideration filed by Senior Supt. Joel Crisostomo Garcia, SPO3 Jorge Gabiana, PO3 Dionisio Jimenez, NUPs Erwin Chavarria, Emilia Aliling, and Erwin Paul Maranan who were suspended for six months without pay.

Morales said “the respondents failed to present new evidence which will materially affect the Resolution in question. They likewise failed to show that grave errors of facts or laws or serious irregularities have been committed by this Office prejudicial to their interest.”

The Ombudsman reiterated the findings in the joint resolution dated May 30, 2012 that the concerned PNP officers participated in the whole procurement process, which makes it impossible for private supplier Hilario de Vera of Manila Aerospace Products Trading Corp. (MAPTRA) to be able to deceive them without their cooperation.

Records showed that the case arose from the PNP’s purchase of one fully equipped Robinson R44 Raven II Light Police Operational Helicopter (LPOH) for P42,312,913.10 and two standard Robinson R44 Raven I LPOHs for P62,672,086.90, or for a total amount of P104,985,000 from 2009 to 2010.