|Photo shows the rubber boats and outboard motors lying idle inside the maritime warehouse. Photo by Alex Santos for abs-cbnNEWS.com
MANILA, Philippines - After blowing the whistle on the allegedly anomalous purchase of used helicopters, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is now questioning the Philippine National Police's (PNP) P131 million emergency procurement of rubber boats and overpriced outboard motors after Tropical Storm Ondoy (Ketsana) in 2009.
DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo said the 75 rubber boats and 93 outboard motors purchased after Ondoy did not follow the specifications provided by the National Police Commission (Napolcom).
"Nakagarahe pa. The motors cannot be attached because the boats are only for 40 horsepower outboard motors but what was bought were 60 horsepower outboard motors...When you attach the 60 horsepower motors, lulubog yung rubber boats," he told reporters.
Initial findings showed that the motors were overpriced at P500,000 per 60-hp motor, instead of the market price of P350,000.
Robredo said the rubber boats also did not follow Napolcom specifications. The purchases include 41 hypalon neoprene rubber roll-up boats from France, 24 hypalon-single recreational rubber boats from Korea, and 3 recreational boats from Costa Rica.
The DILG chief said the rubber boats should already be in use since the rainy season has already started.
"Mas nababagabag ako sa rubber boat dahil may bidding ito hindi natuloy dahil sa Ondoy, naging negotiated purchase pero hanggang ngayon hindi magamit," he said.
"If there is another Ondoy, we do have rubber boats that we can use with paddles kasi kapag ginamit yung motor hindi tinatanggap," he added.
Aside from the rubber boats, Robredo also questioned the PNP's P90 million regular procurement of patrol boats that did not comply with Napolcom specifications.
He said the patrol boats are being kept in storage after the end-user rejected them for not following its requirements.
"Very likely ginagamit na siya kung nasunod yung specifications," he said.
The DILG chief said PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo has ordered similar PNP transactions investigated for possible violations so that cases may be filed.
"We want to clean up the procurement process in the PNP and the important step is to clean up the previous transactions," Robredo said.
Robredo said former PNP chief Jesus Versoza could face charges after signing off on all the multimillion-peso procurements during his term.
"Wala akong gustong kasuhan na personal. If he is involved, then he should be sued. There is no one in particular I want charged, only the guilty," he said.
He said there is no document linking former DILG chief Ronaldo Puno to the transactions.