Arroyos face plunder raps

Former President now Rep.Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and her husband, Mike Arroyo, were the alleged previous owners of three helicopters priced as brand-new and “forcibly” sold to the Philippine National Police for P105 million in 2009.

This fact is supposedly contained in some of the documents that Sen. Panfilo Lacson obtained linking the former First Couple to the alleged anomaly.

The senator said the sale of the choppers may make the Arroyos, along with all those who took part in the sale, “prime candidates” for a plunder case as the amount involved exceeded P50 million.

He recently sought an investigation into alleged misrepresentations in the P105-million purchase of light operational helicopters by the PNP’s elite Special Action Force (SAF).

“Initial findings would indicate that the previous and original owners of the pre-owned, yet sold as brand-new light police operational helicopters are the Arroyos. While it’s bad enough that the two units were overpriced and therefore grossly disadvantageous to the government, passing them off as brand-new smacks of brazen deceit and utmost bad faith,” Lacson said.

He and Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chairman Teofisto Guingona III jointly filed Resolution 518 calling for a closer look at the acquisition of the Light Police Operational Helicopters (LPOHs) from Manila Aerospace Products Trading Corp. (MAPTRA).

On July 9, 2009, the PNP Negotiation Committee recommended the award of the contract to MAPTRA for one Robinson R44 Raven II and two Robinson R44 Raven I helicopters.

But it was later learned that MAPTRA had been engaged in the business only in June 2009. Also, it was discovered the supposedly new choppers were “pre-owned” as far back as March 2004. Lacson said that while the PNP officials involved in the deal were complicit partners, they are the least to blame in this anomalous transaction.

“The First Couple were so powerful at that time that ramming the used helicopters down the throat of the police was easy and effortless. And since the proceeds could exceed the P50-million threshold in a series of acts, those liable are candidates for a plunder case under our existing laws,” he said.

Be Sociable, Share!