Whistle-blower Rhodora Alvarez, who previously filed charges against officials of the Department of National Defense in connection with the helicopter deal, has exposed yet another potential anomaly in the agency, this time involving the supply contract for military drones.
“May sindikato sa loob ng DND. Sana mabuwag na po ito. Sayang lamang ang pera ng bayan sa mga walang kwentang gawain ng mga walang pusong tao sa loob ng sistema. Alam ko po na mahirap itong gawin kaya ginagawa ko ang aking share as a Filipino at patuloy ko itong gagawin hanggang sa tuluyang maramdaman ang pagbabago. Alam kong hindi masasayang ang aking mga sakripisyo dahil narito na ang pagbabago,” Alvarez said in a statement on Sunday.
She said she will write President Rodrigo Duterte a letter detailing how deals are “fixed” at the agency, from pre-qualification bidding to actual contract awards.
Alvarez said that a random check on the Philippine Government Electronic Procurement System (Philgeps) website led her to a questionable posting last July 29, 2016, a Friday, regarding an Invitation to Bid (ITB) with reference number 3971300 and Solicitation # 04213531 coming from the DND asking for bids on the Marine Forces Imagery and Targeting Support System (MITSS) Acquisition Project with an approved budget cost of P684,230,000.00.
The pre-bid conference was supposed to be conducted the following Monday, Aug. 1, 2016 at 10 a.m. at the DND-BAC Secretariat.
What snagged her eyes, she said, was the heading “Other Information” appearing at the bottom portion of the webpage which states , “Please be informed that the bidding process for this project is already finished. This is only for compliance of posting of NOA and NTP.”
The post was created by Amelia M. Garrero, Executive Assistant of DND BAC Secretariat, who was supposed to have retired in January 2014, according to Alvarez.
Alvarez claimed anyone can easily conclude that the posting was a ruse, a “red flag” that gives birth to a multitude of questions that must be answered.
Alvarez, who appeared as witness before the Senate investigation on the anomalous P1.2-billion chopper deal claimed her attention was caught by the Phigeps post only last week.
“Nakatawag ng aking pansin ang isa sa posting sa philgeps. Una, bakit si Amelia Garrero pa rin? Secondly, nag post ng July 29, Friday na may prebid conference ng August 1, Monday? How can a legitimate supplier respond to this with such a short notice? Is the DND back to business as usual?” she asked.
Based on her experience, Alvarez said that in the UH 1 project, the project had been manipulated before it was posted on the transparency website.
Alvarez explained that she was inspired by Duterte’s remarks last week during his visits in various military camps in Mindanao, where he promised to do away with the corrupt DND procurement in order to equip soldiers with superior weapons and technologically advanced devices to best help them accomplish their mission.