Ombudsman orders dismissal of 19 PNP officials over PHP4.54-M rubber boat scam

Ombudsman orders dismissal of 19 PNP officials over PHP4.54-M rubber boat scam

MANILA — Nineteen officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were ordered dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman over the anomalous procurement of rubber boats worth PHP4.54 million in 2009.


The Ombudsman noted that the police coastal crafts (PCCs) were procured without public bidding and despite the glaring defects that were noted during delivery, the boats were still certified to have passed the acceptance criteria.


Ordered dismissed from the service for grave misconduct were Sr. Supts. Asher Dolina, Ferdinand Yuzon, Cornelio Salinas, Thomas Abellar, Nepomuceno Magno Corpus, Jr. and Rico Payonga, Chief Supts. Reynaldo Rafal and Rizaldo Tungala, Jr., Sr. Supts. Alex Sarmiento and Aleto Jeremy Mirasol, Supt. Michael Amor Filart, PO3 Avensuel Dy, Supts. Job Marasigan and Leodegario Visaya, Chief Insps. Juanito Estrebor and Renelfa Saculles.


Supt. Henry Duque and PNP Accounting Division Chief Antonio Retrato were also dismissed for grave misconduct and gross neglect of duty, while Chief Supt. George Piano and Commission on Audit (COA) Auditor for the PNP Jaime Sañares were dismissed for gross neglect of duty.


The officials were also meted out perpetual disqualification from reemployment in the government service, forfeiture of retirement benefits and cancellation of civil service eligibility.


Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales also ordered the filing of charges for multiple violations of Section 3 of Republic Act No. 3019 or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, against Chief Supt. Villamor Bumanglag, along with Piano, Dolina, Yuzon, Salinas, Corpus, Jr., Abellar, Payonga, Duque, Retrato, Marasigan, Visaya, Estrebor, Saculles, Dy, Rafal, Tungala, Jr., Sarmiento, Mirasol, Sañares, Filart, and Roselle Ferrer and Pacita Umali of Four Petals Trading (FPT), the supplier of the rubber boats.


Additional charges for falsification of public documents were also ordered against Piano and Duque.


In 2009, the PNP national headquarters issued a resolution for the procurement of watercrafts, including 20 PCCs with a budget of PHP5 million.


Bumanglag, as former director of the Maritime Group, requested for the increase in unit price from PHP250,000 to PHP312,000 resulting into a reduction of the number of units to 16 PCCs.


At the time the rubber boats were delivered and inspected on March 22, 2010, several defects were uncovered such as lack of water temperature gauges, fuel gauges, engine oil pressure gauges and speedometers; engines were not operational; no rudder posts, one damaged outrigger; no ampere gauge; no canvass; no hole back portion for starboard side; no alternator; stacked-up transmission; and no heater plug.


Still, the PCCs were accepted as conforming to end-user’s specification.


Several procurement violations were also established such as: undated and unnumbered procurement documents; supplier was not a technically, legally and financial capable supplier given that its address is located in a residential area with no company website; and FPT is not known in the coastal craft-building industry.


In August 2010, the PNP officials paid FPT a total of PHP4.54 million for the defective rubber boats.


Morales said that “the significant events leading to the procurement of 16 PCCs would not only reveal badges of irregularities but also of haste and preference to buy from FPT as the sole and only choice of supplier for coastal crafts.”(PNA)