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No irregularities in purchase of Hueys’

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of National Defense maintained yesterday that there are no anomalies in the purchase of 21 UH-1 helicopters worth P1.2 billion.

In a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo, Defense Undersecretary Fernando Manalo said they did not violate any regulation in the procurement law in acquiring the helicopters.

“We would never enter into deals that are disadvantageous to the government and not compliant with the terms of reference,” Manalo said.

In December, the joint venture of American firm Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Canadian company Eagle Copters Ltd. was declared the winning bidder for the purchase of the helicopters.

Defense officials, however, have been accused of violating the terms of agreement and allowing the supplier to deliver old and defective units.

A military official, who asked not to be identified, was quoted in a newspaper report as saying the supplier had delivered old UH-1D helicopters instead of the more advanced UH-1H model.

Defense Assistant Secretary Patrick Velez, however, explained that the contract stated that the winning bidder should deliver UH-1 helicopters, the generic term for helicopters.

“To correct misimpression, the contract is not for UH-1D but UH-1,” Velez said.

“The reason why the bid documents stated UH-1 is it was intentionally made to ensure greater participation from bidders from different suppliers,” he added.

But the report also claimed that the helicopters delivered were not working due to engine problems.

 

CAMP AGUINALDO

DEFENSE ASSISTANT SECRETARY PATRICK VELEZ

DEFENSE UNDERSECRETARY FERNANDO MANALO

DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE

EAGLE COPTERS LTD

HELICOPTERS

IN DECEMBER

MANALO

RICE AIRCRAFT SERVICES INC

VELEZ

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