Congressman Alejano raises some points on frigate probe

Magdalo Partylist Representative Gary C. Alejano raised some points that he observed during the February 19 Senate investigation on Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP) which will provide the Philippine Navy with two frigates.

Alejano said two things were resolved. “First, there was agreement on the superiority of Thales Tacticos, the Philippine Navy’s choice for Combat Management System (CMS), over the DND’s preference Hanwha Systems,” he said.

“Second, it was clarified that the FAP was not a ‘done deal’ during the Aquino administration – a contradiction to what Malacanang has been insisting,” he added.

However, Representative Alejano raised points that still need clarifications. “Who allowed Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to have the authority to decide on which CMS to use? Shouldn’t the Philippine Navy, as the end-user, dictate what mission critical equipment and system its frigates would use?” he said.

“It should also be pointed out that, in spite of agreement on the superiority of Thales Tacticos CMS, RADM Empedrad and Sec. Lorenzana are still determined on defending Hanwha Systems on the basis of its compliance to the technical specifications,” he added.

“We should not bank on the promise of later compliance from Hanwha Systems,” he said.

He also said that “the fact that Thales Tacticos was one of the systems offered means HHI should be able to provide it within the price agreed upon.”

He also noted that “the need to modernize immediately should not justify a fast-tracked procurement process riddled with anomalies. It is irresponsible for the government to continue the project without resolving first the irregularities.”

Congressman Alejano also said Malacañang “should not be quick to dismiss SAP Go on his involvement in the frigate controversy.”

“SAP Go’s office receives thousands of complaints on a daily basis. Out of the thousands, what prompted his office to take so much time and interest on a Navy procurement matter to the point of calling for a meeting and receiving a report from RADM Empedrad?” he added.