By Michael Punongbayan (The Philippine Star)
MANILA, Philippines - Philippine National Police chief Director General Nicanor Bartolome and 15 other PNP officials were charged yesterday with graft before the Office of the Ombudsman over an allegedly anomalous P1.2-billion gun deal.
The complainants, disqualified bidders Roferma Enterprises and CM Countermeasures Equipages and Security Technologies Inc., asked Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales to issue a preventive suspension order against Bartolome and his men pending results of the investigation.
The firms, represented by Romulo Fernandez Maningding and Peter Go Cheng, respectively, filed charges of grave misconduct in relation to the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and Republic Act 9184 or the Procurement Law against Bartolome.
Also charged were Bids and Awards Committee chairman Deputy Director General Emelito Sarmiento, PNP Logistics Director and BAC vice chairman Arnulfo Perez, and BAC members Directors Felipe Rojas, Roque Ramirez and Catalino Cuy, Chief Superintendent Francisco Uyami Jr., Senior Superintendents Edwin Roque and Alexander Pumecha, Superintendents Percival Placer, Antonio Cirujales, Marlon Gnilo and Roman Merin Jr., Chief Inspector Jinky Acacio, Senior Police Officer 4 Nonelon Sabigan, and civilian employee Bernardo Sube.
In a 12-page complaint, Maningding and Cheng said the PNP invited suppliers to bid for the supply and delivery of 59,904 units of 9mm pistols with an approved budget of P1.198 billion early this year.
They said the BAC headed by Sarmiento committed grave misconduct from the very start when they required each bidder to buy the bidding documents at P275,000 to recover the cost of production of the bidding documents. The complainants noted that the documents would actually cost only P1,000 to reproduce.
The BAC also required each bidder to submit 10 sample pistols, two of which will be subjected to testing during the post-qualification stage.
According to the complainants, the submission of bids was set on June 28 but the PNP issued to Maningding’s client the authority to import only on June 22, thus Roferma was not able to import, transport and release from the Bureau of Customs the required 10 guns on time.
Bartolome had earlier said that the bidding for the gun deal was transparent and credible.
He said the winning bidder, Trust Trade Philippines and Glock Asia, submitted the second lowest bid, P16,659.94 for each unit of Glock 17 Generation 4 pistol. He said the pistol passed a series of endurance firing and crack tests.
Another bidder, R. Espineli Trading, submitted the lowest bid but was disqualified after it failed to submit all the necessary documents.
Meanwhile, PNP officials are ready to answer the charges filed against them in connection with the P1.2-billion procurement of firearms for the PNP.
PNP spokesman Chief Superintendent Generoso Cerbo Jr. said the court is the proper venue to put this issue to rest with finality.
“As far as the PNP is concerned, this particular contract is transparent and most advantageous for government and an unprecedented savings of P200 million was generated from this particular transaction,” Cerbo stressed.
He said the procurement process is consistent with the provisions of the revised Implementing Rules and Regulations of RA 9184.
Bartolome has affirmed a contract earlier entered into by the PNP with Trust Trade Philippines and Glock Asia for the supply of 59,904 units of Glock 17 Generation 4 pistols.
Upon approval of the contract, Trust Trade was given 570 days to complete the delivery of the guns in five tranches. – With Cecille Suerte Felipe