4 police officers face charges over 16 defective boats

MANILA, Philippines—Four ranking officials of the Philippine National Police are facing dismissal over their alleged link in the procurement of 16 motorized bancas worth at least P4.9 million for the PNP Maritime Group.

Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse M. Robredo identified the officers from the Logistics Support Service’s Inspection and Acceptance Committee (PNP LSS IAC) as Superintendent Job F. Marasigan, Supt. Leodegario B. Bisaya, Juanito G. Estrebor, and Chief Inspector Renelfa L. Saculles.

The four allegedly committed undue intervention in the March 2010 procurement and payment for 16 “defective and unserviceable” Police Coastal Crafts (PCCs) worth P4.9 million for use by the PNP Maritime Group.

Investigation showed the 16 Police Coastal Crafts were delivered by supplier Four Metals Trading on March 10, 2010 but the PNP MG noted several defects in the boats .

But without the knowledge of the PNP MG officials, Four Metals Trading was able to collect the payment based on the inspection report prepared by the four police officers, said Robredo.

He said that the PNP LSS IAC officers certified that the “defective and unserviceable” conform to the approved specifications, the document used by the supplier to collect payment for the defective boats.

They even issued a resolution to accept the boats, he said.

Based on the inspection report of the PNP MG Technical Inspection Committee, the engine installed to the PCCs, which was supposed to be gasoline fed, turned out to be diesel fed engines.

At the same time, the report said that “the engines are not operational, no rudder and post, damaged outrigger (katig), no ampere gauge, no canvass, no hole at the back portion of the starboard side, no alternator, stocked-up transmission, no heater plug, etc.”

Robredo said the police officers “led by Supt. Marasigan clearly acted in bad faith when they issued an inspection report and arrogated upon themselves the authority which was delegated to the PNP Maritime Group Inspection and Acceptance Committee by the PNP HQ Bids and Awards Committee.”

“Worse, after the payment of P4.8 million to the supplier, none of the 16 PCCs or motorized bancas was ever used for its intended purpose. Why? Because said defective PCCs which were moored at the Navotas Fish Port Complex in Navotas City all sunk when Typhoon Bebeng hit the country last year,” he said.

Earlier, then PNP chief Director General Raul Bacalzo directed the chiefs of the Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group to investigate Marasigan and his men for possible violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The funds for the procurement of the 16 PCCs was sourced from the fund for the procurement of 75 units Police Rubber Boats, which has an approved budget contract of P180 million.

The same funding sources were used for the April 2010 procurement of the allegedly overpriced and unserviceable 75 units of police rubber boats and 93 outboard motor engines worth P131.5 million.

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