PNP to file raps in Ombudsman on chopper scam

Posted at 08/25/11 3:10 PM

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) has sufficient evidence to file charges against those involved in the helicopter controversy.

“As far as what we have, in terms of evidence that we have also collated, unearthed by this honorable committee's investigation, we can actually file already cases,” said PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) Director Samuel Pagdilao.

Pagdilao said they are set to file the charges before the Ombudsman by next week

Pagdilao also told the committee that there is no “foot dragging” in their investigation.

“The only reason why we are still on the final stage of our investigation is because the persons in the investigation deferred to appear before us so they can appear before this honorable Senate to give their statements,” Pagdilao said.

Senator Panfilo Lacson asked Pagdilao the probable civilians to be included in the PNP’s charge sheet.

“Of course, we have to include the owners of the MAPTRA (Manila Aerospace Products Trading) and also Mr. (Archibald) Po,” Pagdilao said.

Po is the president of Lionair, the company which Negros Occidental Rep. Iggy Arroyo claims he leased the choppers from since 2004. Rep. Arroyo claimed that it was he, as president of the LTA Inc., who leased the 5 Robinson helicopters from Lionair in 2004.

Pagdilao did not reveal any other names and likewise asked the Senate to allow them to finish with their investigation.

“But I’d like to beg the indulgence of this committee that if they allow us, we’ll be able to say all of these when we conclude our investigation. And I’d like to assure this honorable committee that by next week, we'll be able to do that,” he said.

Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo Lacson wants the PNP to establish if there was conspiracy in the purchase of the used helicopters.

“Have you found any indication of conspiracy into this whole affair? Yung conspiracy is something you have to establish when you complete your investigation,” he said.

Pagdilao said there are indications and they are now looking into it. “If you’re asking if there are indications, there are indications,” he said.

“Allow us to finish. To wind up our investigation and towards the end we would be able to tell the public the outcome of our investigation,” Pagdilao appealed.