SEN. GUINGONA: CHOPPER DEAL ACCUSATIONS “DISTURBING”
Senator Teofisto “TG” Guingona III on Tuesday said he wants Defense officials to answer the “serious and potentially damaging allegations” by whistle-blower Rhodora Alvarez in connection with the purchase of 21 refurbished UH-1 helicopters.
Alvarez had earlier accused Defense officials of “tailor-fitting” the terms of reference for the said purchase to help Rice Aircraft Services, Inc. (RASI) bag the contract for the supply of the helicopters.
Senator Guingona said the accusations contained in an affidavit submitted by Alvarez are “disturbing.” He expressed hope that the Department of National Defense (DND) will be able to answer them.
He cited in particular the allegations based on e-mail exchanges she made with DND officials.
Among these is the purported e-mail to Alvarez allegedly sent by Technical Working Group chair Brigadier General Conrado Parra where he supposedly discussed issues on delivery and payment schemes.
In the purported e-mail, Parra allegedly said “I don’t think they will allow that but still this can be discussed in the negotiations.”
“I just don’t know how far they can go in bending rules,” Alvarez quoted Parra.
Alvarez also alleged that Conrado Parra had another exchange of e-mail with the original RASI representative, Thac Nuyen, where they discussed how RASI can be considered qualified to deliver the purchased helicopters. /MP