The Philippines Armed Forces (AFP) is charged of buying various weapons totalling P24.883 Billion (US $528 million) violating procurement laws.
The list of procurement include eight Bell 412EP helicopters, 12 FA-50 jets from Korean Aerospace Industries (KAI), 14 M113A2 Fire support vehicles (FSVs), four M113A2 Infantry Fighting Vehicles (IFVs), four Armored Recovery Vehicles (ARVs) from Elbit Systems and C4I, C4I/GIS computer systems from Triton and Geodata systems joint venture, Technical Forensic Upgrade System (TFUS) from Anascomm Electronics Supply.
The latest annual report of the Commission on Audit (COA) has declared that the AFP has violated the provisions of Government Procurement Reform Act after it resorted to alternative modes of procurement, ABS-CBN news reported Wednesday.
Majority of these military vehicles and equipment did not follow the procedure of going through public bidding and were instead procured through negotiated procurement. The total contract price reached P4.7 billion (US $99 million) for the Bell helicopters procurement.
“The procurement of the items was classified as emergency for security purposes,” The Department of National Defense (DND) spokesperson Arsenio Andolong was quoted as saying by the news channel.
Andolong said that there was an immediate need for the vehicles such as the Bell helicopters delivered last August. The helicopters would be used to transfer APEC-VIPs and are also on standby in times of disaster. He supported the Canadian Commercial Corporation (CCC) as competent to provide high quality helicopters that can be operated by Filipino pilots in time for the APEC. He further stated that if the procurement had not gone through public bidding, the helicopters would probably arrive in 2016.
However, the COA report mentions that no documents saying that the procurement was an emergency was present.
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