PNP helicopters, boats can't be used
- Bebot Sison Jr., Cecille Suerte Felipe () - October 1, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The police helicopters and rubber boats that were purchased under anomalous deals will not be used for search and rescue operations in the areas flooded by typhoon “Pedring,” Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Deputy Director General Nicanor Bartolome said yesterday.

Bartolome said the rubber and patrol boats in question would be used as evidence in the investigation of the P131-million procurement contract.

“The boats in the questionable procedure will not be used. Let’s just wait until the issue is resolved,” Bartolome said.

In the meantime, Bartolome said the PNP teams will just use other resources for search, rescue and relief operations in many parts of Central Luzon, particularly in Bulacan and Pampanga, that were left flooded by typhoon Pedring.

He said there are other rubbers boats available in other police regional offices.

On the other hand, the helicopters that were said to have been sold as brand new to the PNP under the P104.9-million contract would remain grounded, Bartolome said.

“Those helicopters could not be used. We could only use those that are available,” he said.

The PNP is rocked by a series of anomalous purchases of equipment, foremost among them the procurement of three helicopters at P104.9 million that were passed off as brand new but turned out to be previously owned and five years old.

The rubber and patrol boats purchased by the PNP at P131 million turned out to be defective, on top of the supposed repair of 28 V-150s boat engines worth P409 million that was overpriced.

Critics said if the police equipment available were at the PNP’s disposal, it could have made a big difference and saved more lives and property.

“Unfortunately, there were people who merely thought of getting rich without thinking of the welfare of those who will be in need in times of disasters like this,” a ranking police officer lamented.

BARTOLOME BOATS BULACAN AND PAMPANGA CENTRAL LUZON DEPUTY DIRECTOR GENERAL NICANOR BARTOLOME HELICOPTERS MILLION PEDRING PHILIPPINE NATIONAL POLICE PNP POLICE
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