Tag Archive: PNP helicopters

The National Police has kicked out 10 officials, including two one-star generals, and imposed sanctions on other active and retired officials for involvement in the anomalous purchase of helicopters in 2009.

Dismissed from the service were Chief Superintendents Luis Saligumba and Herold Ubalde; Senior Supts. Job Nolan Antonio, Mansue Lukban, and Edgar Paatan; Supts. Roman Loreto and Ermilando Villafuerte; Chief Insp. Ma. Josefina Recometa, SPO4 Ma. Linda Padojinog, SPO1 Avensuel Dy, and non-uniformed personnel (NUP) Ruben Gongona, PNP spokesman Senior Supt. Generoso Cerbo said.

The dismissal, imposed following a resolution by the Office of the Ombudsman, took effect June 15.

It also forfeits the affected personnel’s retirement benefits and disqualifies them from holding any public office in the future, Cerbo said.

Ubalde resigned as head of the PNP Legal Service when investigation on the scam started last year and has not accepted any post ever since.

Meanwhile, Cerbo said the PNP leadership imposed sanctions on two retired generals and a former superintendent, also for their involvement in the scam.

Retired Directors Leocadio Santiago Jr., George Piano, and Supt. Claudio Gaspar Jr. were imposed with fines equivalent to one year’s worth of salary deducted from payment of accumulative leave credits.

The penalty also comes with forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification to hold public office, Cerbo said.

Santiago, Piano, and Gaspar retired last March, April, and February, respectively.

Six active personnel, on the other hand, were imposed with a six-month suspension starting June 15. They are Senior Supt. Joel Crisostomo Garcia, SPO3 Jorge Gabiana, PO3 Dionisio Jimenez, and NUPs Emilia Aliling, Edwin Chavarria, and Edwin Maranan.

The PNP bought three “brand new” helicopters in Sept. 2009 for P104.9 million, but an expose by Sen. Panfilo Lacson and a resulting probe showed that two of were already used by several individuals, including some members of the family of then President Gloria Arroyo. (John Roson)

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PNP to buy more choppers

The National Police will buy more helicopters to improve its operational capability, especially in Mindanao, but willl make sure that these are not used, Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo said.

“Kailangan naman po ‘yun talaga, ang original intention po sana ay mag-deploy ng chopper sa Mindanao,” Robredo told reporters after attending the 110th Police Service anniversary rites in Camp Crame on Monday.

The DILG chief said he himself will make sure that the helicopters are really “new” this time. “Hindi na po mauulit ‘yung dati.”

Earlier, President Benigno Aquino III assured that police equipment purchased under his administration will not be overused.

“Lilinawin ko lang, ‘pag sinabing bibili ng bago hindi ito pinagsawaan na ng kung sinumang herodes,” Aquino said, apparently referring to two overused helicopters which the PNP bought as “brand new.”

The two helicopters were among three that were brought in 2009 for a total price of P104.9 million.

They were later found to have been used “extensively” by the family of former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Arroyo, especially her son Mikey, according to the DILG.

The controversial helicopters allegedly belonged to former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo. (John Roson)

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