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No shortcuts in probe of chopper bidding–Teodoro

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 13:58:00 04/01/2008

MANILA, Philippines — There will be “no shortcuts” in the investigation into the possible involvement of military and defense officials in the allegedly rigged bidding for night-capable attack helicopters worth millions of dollars, Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr. has assured.

Defense Undersecretary Ariston delos Reyes heads the inquiry into the possible administrative and criminal liabilities of former members of the Department of National Defense (DND) bids and awards committee (BAC) who awarded the contract to the US firm Asian Aerospace.

“I know there is awareness of the expectation of a quick response, but due process is involved here. We don’t want to take shortcuts,” Teodoro told reporters in Camp Aguinaldo.

The incumbent BAC is investigating allegations the bidding was rigged in favor of Asian Aerospace, as alleged by the losing bidder, Poland’s PDL Swidnik S.A.

Reacting to reports that the DND has banned Asian Aerospace from bidding on its projects, Teodoro said he has not yet received any investigation report almost three months after the bidding controversy erupted in January.

“I have to wait for their formal transmission to me [of] whatever findings they have,” Teodoro said.

The DND cancelled Asian Aerospace’s $29-million bid to supply the Armed Forces of the Philippines with six night-capable helicopters.

Last week, Air Force Chief Lieutenant General Pedrito Cadungog said the new bidding would be for 18 attack helicopters instead of six, with the cost estimated at P3.2 billion, or close to $80 million.

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Written by joelguinto

Tue+00:002008-04-01T06:18:42+00:00+00:0004b+00:00Tue, 01 Apr 2008 06:18:42 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 am04

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