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MANILA, Philippines - The National Police has ordered the immediate dismissal of 11 police officers and a civilian officer, including two generals, over the P105-million second-hand chopper controversy.
The following officials were dismissed effective June 15:
1. Chief Supt. Luis Saligumba
2. Chief Supt. Herold Ubalde
3. Sr. Supt. Job Nolan Antonio
4. Sr. Supt. Mansue Lukban
5. Sr. Supt. Edgar Paatan
6. Supt. Roman Loreto
7. Supt. Ermilando Villafuerte
8. Chief Insp. Ma. Josefina Recometa
9. SPO4 Ma. Linda Padojinog
10. SPO1 Avensuel Dy
11. NUP (non-uniformed personnel) Ruben Gongona
Those ordered suspended for six months from June 15 to December 15 are:
1. Sr. Supt. Joel Crisostomo Garcia
2. SPO3 Jorge Gabiana
3. PO3 DIonisio Jimenez
4.NUP Emilia Aliling
5.NUP Edwin Chavarria
6.NUP Edwin Maranan
Three other officials were not dismissed because they had retired from their posts. However, they were penalized with a fine equivalent to one-year salary deducted from payment of accumulative leave credits, with accessory penalty of forfeiture of retirement benefits and perpetual disqualification to hold public office. The three are:
1. Dir. Leocadio Santiago Jr. (retired last March 16)
2. Dir. George Piano (retired last April 8)
3. Supt. Claudio Gaspar Jr. (retired last February 2)
Former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo and former PNP chief Jesus Verzosa were among those charged with graft by the Ombudsman over the anomalous sale of the PNP choppers.
The dismissed officers were accused of helping Arroyo defraud the government out of P34.63 million pesos for the 2009 and 2010 deals.
Arroyo, the marketing agent of the helicopter manufacturer's local distributor, and the officers were accused of colluding to pass off as brand-new two used Robinson R44 Raven aircraft that were sold to the police.
The police force also acquired a third Raven helicopter from the same distributor, paying a total of P104.98 million for all three.
Government investigators were called in after the Senate held a public inquiry into the deal last year, in which the local distributor's president testified that Arroyo's husband had once owned the helicopters and orchestrated the deal.
The distributor, Archibald Po, said Jose Miguel Arroyo had bought five helicopters from him in 2003 and later instructed Po in 2006 to buy two of them back for a high price after using them for his wife's 2004 election campaign.
The two helicopters were later sold to the local distributor's marketing agent, which resold them to the Philippine police along with a third helicopter from the same manufacturer.
Arhicbald Po testified that he delivered $700,000 to Jose Miguel Arroyo as payment for the two helicopters.
Jose Miguel Arroyo has denied ever owning them.
He and the other defendants, who are all out on bail, could be jailed for up to 10 years if found guilty by the anti-graft court.
The charges were filed by a special anti-graft prosecutor earlier this month.
Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was arrested in November, less than five months after stepping down from nearly 10 years in power.
She is now detained at a military hospital while awaiting trial on two separates charges of vote rigging and corruption. She denies both charges.