Teodoro cancels another irregular bidding for AFP ammunition
- James Mananghaya () - June 13, 2009 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines – Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro ordered anew the scrapping of the bidding process for P500-million worth of mortar ammunition.

Teodoro ordered the scrapping of the bidding after the procurement committee failed to comply with the prescribed process, defense spokesman Nelson Victorino said.

Victorino said the only qualified bidder, Talon Security Consulting and Trade Ltd., was found to have submitted false documentation.

He said the awarding of contract to Talon notwithstanding the flaw would unduly favor Talon.

“And the (Defense) Secretary is not a rubber stamp to approve whatever the bids and awards committee recommends as the same is subject to factual and legal scrutiny by the secretary’s staff,” Victorino said.

After declaring a failure of the first bidding, Teodoro immediately ordered the rebidding in the supply of mortars to ensure the stable supply in the inventory and reserves.

Teodoro, however, was assured by Armed Forces supply and logistics officials led by Maj. Gen. Daniel Casabar that there is enough ammunition for troops in the frontlines.

Teodoro debunked reports that troops are dying in the frontlines for lack of ammunition.

“It is unfair to say that our soldiers are dying because they have no ammunition or the enemy is better equipped. Our soldiers die because of the conflict. And this will only stop if the conflict is ended,” he said.

Talon Security filed a case before the Quezon City court, which in turn issued a temporary restraining order on the re-bidding.

Victorino said the TRO on the rebidding process would only delay the whole procurement process.

“If Talon is indeed confident of the quality and price of their products then they wouldn’t have to worry about a re-bid. But their continuous effort to prevent a re-bid will only cause more delays in the procurement of the said ammunition,” he said.

Victorino also denied Talon’s claim of being the lowest bidder.

He said the price offered by Talon to the government was the same as the approved budget for the contract, which is P264,680,000 for 40,720 rounds of 60mm mortar ammunition and P240,552,000 for 33,410 rounds of 81mm mortar ammunition.

“For both bids, Talon Security Consulting and Trade Ltd. submitted a bid exactly the amount of the ABC, not a centavo less. The statement thus that Talon’s bid is the lowest is misleading,” he said.

According to Victorino, Talon’s offers of mortar ammunition are not brand new but refurbished war materiel from the states of the former Soviet Union.

He said Talon is an ammunition trader based in Israel.

Victorino clarified the defense department is looking to purchase brand new ammunition.

Teodoro last year canceled the bidding for night capable attack helicopters due to several irregularities in the bidding process.

Teodoro reminded winning defense contractors that they must adhere strictly to the bid process and its implementing rules and regulations.

“Otherwise, it has be canceled and rebidded and whoever is found engaged in any irregularity to rig the process in favor of anyone will be dealt with accordingly,” Teodoro said. – With Jaime Laude

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