2 police officials dismissed, 8 others suspended over P131-M rubber boat anomaly-A A +A
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
MANILA -- Two officials of the Philippine National Police (PNP) were dismissed while eight others were suspended due to the anomalous purchase of 75 defective rubber boats worth P131.5 million after tropical cyclones Ondoy and Pepeng hit the country in 2008.
Ordered to be dismissed by the Office of the Ombudsman were Chief Supt. Herold Ubalde and Deputy Director General Benjamin Belarmino Jr. who were found liable for gross neglect of duty and grave misconduct.
The police officials were meted the penalty of dismissal from the service with the accessory penalties of forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification to hold public office, the Office of the Ombudsman said. And if the penalty can no longer be served by reason of resignation or retirement, the alternative penalty of fine equivalent to one year salary is imposed, in addition to the accessory penalties.
Suspended for six months without pay were Police Director George Piano, Chief Supt. Luis Saligumba, Senior Supt. Job Nolan Antonio and Senior Supt. Edgar Paatan. They are all members of the PNP’s Inspection and Acceptance Committee, who were found liable for simple neglect of duty.
Suspended for one month without pay were Joel CL Garcia also known as Joel Crisostomo De Leon Garcia, Ronald Lee, Ma. Linda Padojinog, and non-uniformed personnel Ruben Gongona. They are all members of the PNP National Headquarters Bids and Awards Committee and Technical Working Group.
National Police Commission (Napolcom) Director Conrado Sumanga Jr. was given a stern warning due to his "failure to take a more proactive stance as a member of the Oversight Committee and Acting Service Chief of the Installations and Logistic Service."
The case against the sanctioned policemen stemmed from the complaint and supplemental complaint filed on November 2011 and February 2012, respectively, by the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for the Military and Other Law Enforcement Offices' Fact-Finding Bureau (FFIB-MOLEO).
According to the Office of the Ombudsman, records showed that the PNP bought through negotiated procurement 75 rubber boats and 18 spare engines or outboard motors for the PNP Maritime Group as part of the PNP's Annual Procurement Plan for 2008 under its Capability Enhancement Program Funds.
In 2009, the PNP awarded the contract to four suppliers:
- Geneve for the supply of 41 units of police rubber boat (PRB) with contract price of P47.76 million
- Bay Industrial for the supply of 10 units of PRB with contract price of P11.65 million
- EnviroAire for the supply of 93 units of outboard motors with contract price of P44.17 million
- EnviroAire for the supply of 10 units of PRB with contract price of P11,.65 million
The Ombudsman's Special Panel of Investigators found that it took six months before the boats were delivered "long after typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng had occurred."
And upon delivery of the equipment, the PNP Maritime Group's Technical Inspection Committee on Watercrafts discovered that there are deficiencies in the equipment, which were also dangerous to use. The boats and engines were revealed to be incompatible and not functional.
Meanwhile, former PNP chief Jesus Verzosa and 18 others were cleared from the case for lack of jurisdiction since they have retired from service prior to the filing of the complaint. Seventeen other respondents were also cleared due to lack of sufficient evidence. (Emmanuel Louis Bacani/Sunnex)