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MANILA, Philippines - The Office of the Ombudsman has ordered the dismissal from service of 14 officials and personnel of the Philippine National Police (PNP) over the P105-million used chopper scam.
In a statement, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said that apart from the graft case filed with the Sandiganbayan against former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo, former PNP chief Jesus Verzosa, and several other private and government officials, several police officers implicated in the controversy also stand to lose their jobs and their benefits.
In a 143-page Joint Resolution approved last June 1, the Ombudsman also suspended six PNP officials and personnel for six months without pay.
Ordered dismissed from the service for "serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service" were Dir. Leocadio Santiago, Dir. George Piano, Chief Supt. Herold Ubalde, Chief Supt. Luis Saligumba, Senior Supt. Claudio Gaspar Jr., Senior Supt. Job Nolan Antonio, Senior Supt. Edgar Paatan, Senior Supt. Ermilando Villafuerte, Supt. Roman Loreto, Supt. Mansue Lukban, Chief Insp. Maria Josefina Vidal Reco, SPO3 Ma. Linda Padojinog, PO3 Avensuel G. Dy, and non-uniformed personnel Ruben Gongona.
Penalties also include forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification to hold public office. If the personnel have already retired from the service, they will be meted out with the penalty of a fine "equivalent to one year salary" including the same penalties.
The six PNP officers suspended for six months without pay for "simple neglect of duty" are Senior Supt. Joel Crisostomo Garcia, SPO3 Jorge Gabiana, PO3 Dionisio Jimenez, and NUPs Erwin Chavarria, Emilia Aliling and Erwin Paul Maranan. If retired, they will be fined an equivalent of their respective salaries for six months.
Meanwhile, administrative charges against Conrado Sumanga Jr., Miguel Coronel and Celia Sanidad-Leones were dismissed.
Former Interior Secretary Ronaldo Puno and former PNP chief Avelino Razon, meanwhile, were among those cleared of charges for Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Also cleared, for lack of probable cause, were former DILG Assistant Secretary Oscar Valenzuela, Napolcom Director Conrado Sumanga Jr., Napolcom Commissioner Miguel Coronel, Napolcom Commissioner Celia Sanidad-Leones, Senior Supt. Joel Crisostomo Garcia, SPO3 Jorge Gabiana, PO3 Dionisio Jimenez, NUP Erwin Chavarria, NUP Emilia Aliling, NUP Erwin Paul Maranan and Senior Supt. Lurimer Detran,
Charges of obstruction of justice under Presidential Decree 1829 against former Rep. Ignacio “Iggy” Arroyo were dismissed due to the latter's death.
The charges arose from the PNP’s purchase from the MAPTRA (Manila Aerospace Products Trading Corp.) of one fully-equipped Robinson R44 Raven II Light Police Operational Helicopter (LPOH) for P42,312,913.10 and two standard Robinson R44 Raven I LPOHs for P62,672,086.90, or for a total amount of P104,985,000 from 2009 to 2010.
The Special Investigating Panel created by the Ombudsman found that two of the choppers were secondhand and pre-owned by the former president’s husband Mike, passed off as brand new. The Ombudsman panel also found that the PNP entered into the helicopter supply contract with MAPTRA even before the completion of the post-qualification process.