DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo questions PNP's pricey, unused Ondoy boats
(SPOT.ph) Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo is investigating the Philippine National Police's (PNP) P131-million procurement of 75 rubber boats and 93 outboard motors in 2009, reports ABS-CBN News. According to Robredo, the merchandise was bought after Typhoon Ondoy hit the metro but they did not follow the specifications required by the National Police Commission (Napolcom).
He told reporters yesterday, July 12, that since the rainy season has begun, the boats should already be utilized. Instead, they remain unused. "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 (it will sink the) rubber boats," he added. His team also discovered that the motors were overpriced at P500,000 compared to the market price of P350,000.
The DILG chief assures, however, that in case another Ondoy hits, the rubber boats can be used with paddles. Robredo is also concerned with a procurement of P90-million worth of patrol boats. The patrol boats are also kept in storage after the end-users rejected them for not complying with Napolcom standards.
Robredo said that PNP chief Raul Bacalzo has ordered the investigation of similar PNP transactions to check for more violations. Robredo added that former PNP chief Jesus Versoza could face charges after approving the overpriced procurements during his term. He also clarified that former DILG chief Ronaldo Puno was not linked to the transactions.
Just before the boat issue broke, the DILG was studying a similar case-PNP's procurement of overly expensive helicopters in 2009. A Philippine Star report yesterday mentioned that Robredo filed charges against three police officials responsible for the purchase. These are director George Piano, senior superintendent Loi Saligumba, senior superintendent Nolan Antonia, and Superintendent Edgar Bataan.