Lacson Cautions Robredo, PNP: Don’t Leave Out Bigger Characters in PNP Chopper Acquisitions

Sen. Panfilo M. Lacson on Wednesday cautioned Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo and the Philippine National Police against leaving out the bigger fish in the lopsided P104.9-million purchase of police helicopters in 2009. 

“Though I welcome Secretary Robredo and the PNP hierarchy’s prompt action on this irregular transaction, it would have been more prudent that they deferred their actions pending the more extensive Senate inquiry on the matter,” Lacson said.

He said it is very easy and convenient to lay blame and charge former police officials involved in the questionable deal, quickly adding, “But what if there’s somebody higher involved?”

Lacson earlier initiated a Senate investigation into the purchase of the choppers and said he has documents indicating the Arroyos may have been among the choppers’ previous users.

He also noted it is common knowledge that the PNP was among the agencies frequently manipulated and used in pseudo-legal and devious undertakings by the previous administration.

In laying the fault squarely on the shoulders of the PNP, Robredo and PNP chief Raul Bacalzo may have provided, albeit unintentionally, an excuse and a list of probable scapegoats to the real proponents and instigators of the spurious transaction.

“For a fact, these former police officials being linked to these mutli-million irregularities will not have the temerity to enter and sign this lopsided contract without the sanction from higher ups,” Lacson said.

On Tuesday, Robredo disclosed former PNP chief Director General Jesus Verzosa and six of his subordinates were “liable” for the P105-million purchase of three overpriced helicopters in 2009.

He said they were “initially found liable” for approving the payment of P104.9 million” for two of the three helicopters found to be second-hand but sold as brand-new.

Robredo also said the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), which supervises the PNP, already has evidence to show otherwise.