Malacañang orders probe on alleged anomaly in past administration’s procurement of frigate

admin   •   February 5, 2018   •   2845

MANILA, Philippines — Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque affirms that the government wants to look into the Philippine Navy’s frigate acquisition during the term former President Benigno Aquino III.

This stems from the disclosure of Magdalo party-list Representative Gary Alejano that Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) has been blacklisted in South Korea after it was implicated in a bribery scandal in 2013.

HHI was chosen bidder for the said frigate acquisition project.

“Sila po ang nagpa-bid. Sila ang namili kung sino ang mananalo diyan sa bid. Kung totoo na blacklisted ang binigyan nila ng kontrata, dapat managot ang mga opisyales ng nakalipas na administrasyon at sabihin sa atin bakit naging ganoon ang kanilang desisyon,” said the presidential spokesperson.

(They administered the bidding. They decided on who would win the bid. If it’s true that the winner is on a blacklist, officials of the previous administration should be held accountable. They should explain their decision.)

Roque asserted that the present administration is not liable for granting the notice of award to HHI for the said project.

“So, malinaw po na hindi pwedeng magkaroon ng pananagutan ang administrasyon na ito dahil ang conduct ng bidding, ang pagpiling nanalo, lahat po iyan ginawa noong nakalipas na administrasyon na ngayon sa suhestiyon ni Congressman Alejano, bubusisiin na natin,” said Roque.

((So, it’s clear that this administration should not be held accountable because the conduct of the bidding and selection of winner, were all done in the previous administration, which Congressman Alejano suggested we investigate.)

The frigate procurement deal has gone controversial after the name of Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Bong Go, was implicated by an allegation that he intervened in the selection of the subcontractors for the combat management system of the said sea vessel.

But based on Malacañang’s investigation on the matter, it found that the allegation was baseless and untrue. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue


PH Navy receives advanced drone system from US to boost security in WPS

Marje Pelayo   •   November 26, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – The Joint US Military Assistance Group (JUSMAG) of the US Embassy in Manila formally turned over a ScanEagle Unmanned Aerial System (UAS) to the Philippine Navy in a ceremony held at Naval Base Heracleo Alano, Sangley Point, Cavite on Wednesday (November 25).

This new equipment will help boost the Navy’s maritime security especially in the disputed waters of the West Philippine Sea (WPS).

“This new asset will complement the same kind being operated by the 300th Air Intelligence and Security Wing at the Antonio Bautista Air Base in Palawan, which is very close to the disputed areas in the West Philippine Sea that need our consistent attention,” said National Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana.

The system which costs US$14.79 M or an estimated P710-M will provide intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) 71st Maritime Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron (71 MUARS) – the AFP’s leading unit for unmanned maritime ISR operations.

“Transferring the ScanEagle system for operation by the Maritime Unmanned Aerial Reconnaissance Squadron represents the steadfast commitment by the United States to our partners in the Armed Forces of the Philippines,” US Acting Deputy Chief of Mission Kimberly Kelly.

The Philippines has received more than US$650 million (P33 billion) worth of military materiel from the U.S. military making it by far the largest recipient of US’ military assistance in the Indo-Pacific region since 2015. MNP / Raymund David

PH Navy reservists conduct relief ops in Ulysses-hit areas

Robie de Guzman   •   November 16, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Members of the Philippine Navy Reserve Force across Luzon are assisting in the delivery of relief goods to different areas in Luzon that were severely affected by the recent Typhoon Ulysses.

In a statement, the navy said reservists packed and distributed relief goods to different communities in Metro Manila and other Luzon provinces, including Rizal, Bicol, and Cagayan Valley.

The navy said its Naval Reserve Center-Southern Luzon through the navy reservists from Camarines Sur under 31st Naval Group Reserve (NRG) augmented to inter-agency relief efforts of distributing relief goods to Barangays Sta Eulalia and Iyagan in Baao, Camarines Sur.

While Philippine Navy 22nd NRG-Team Star conducted relief operations in Rodriguez and Montalban Rizal.

Aside from the delivery and distribution of relief goods, the navy said its personnel also assisted in the evacuation and rescue operations for families affected by widespread flooding during the onslaught of Typhoon Ulysses.

Naval Affiliated Reserve Force (NARF)-NCR (WesPhil) deployed two amphibious trucks with one rescue team of well-trained and capable reservists onboard each truck to flooded areas in the cities of Marikina and Navotas.

In Region 2 (Cagayan Valley), PN reservists from Northern Luzon have joined local government units in Cagayan in the conduct of search and rescue operations in the affected communities of widespread flood in the province.

“Said disaster response and relief operations demonstrated the invaluable contributions and selfless service of our reservists as force multipliers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines during calamities and other types of human and natural disasters,” the navy said.

The Philippine Navy said it has been helping in relief efforts since last week when Typhoon Rolly ravaged parts of Bicol region.

These deployments are being supervised by the Naval Reserve Command headed by Major Gen. Ariel Caculitan in coordination with Joint Task Force – National Capital Region.

Former PH envoy to Brazil back in PH

Robie de Guzman   •   November 3, 2020

Former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro

MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine Ambassador to Brazil Marichu Mauro has returned to the country, several days after she was reported to have been caught on video mistreating her service staff inside the diplomat residence in the South American country.

In a statement on Tuesday, Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go confirmed that Mauro arrived in the country late Monday night after receiving information from the DFA.

Mauro was ordered to return to Manila to face an investigation into her alleged acts of abuse after CCTV videos of her berating and maltreating her household helper were shown by a Brazilian media in October.

The Filipina helper has already returned to the country last week.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. earlier said a team has been formed to investigate Mauro and the circumstances surrounding the issue.

“The DFA is expected to have an impartial investigation, relying on facts and not influenced by public statements for or against the Ambassador,” Go said.

Mauro has yet to issue a statement.


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