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GRAFT charges will be filed against former Philippine National Police chief Director General Jesus Verzosa and other police officials over the questioned purchase of 75 defective rubber boats in 2008.

Verzosa retired from the police force last July.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales yesterday  ordered the filing of charges against the eight accused after affirming the finding of a special panel of investigators that the government “suffered undue injury” from the purchase of the rubber boats at a total cost of P131,550,000.

Along with Verzosa charged for violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act) wer:Deputy Director General Jefferson Soriano, Deputy Director General Benjamin Belarmino, Jr., Director Luizo Ticman, Director Ronald Roderos, Director Romeo Hilomen, Chief Superintendent Herold Ubalde, and Chief Superintedent Villamor Bumanglag.

Spared from prosecution for lack of evidence were 42 other respondents.

The graft charges stemmed from the purchase by the PNP through a negotiated procurement of 75 rubber boats and 18 spare engines or outboard motors following tropical cyclones Ondoy and Pepeng in 2008.

However, delivery of the equipment was delayed and, worse, the PNP Maritime Group’s Technical Inspection Committee on Watercrafts, found deficiencies in the equipment which rendered them dangerous to use.

The boats and engines also allegedly were not compatible thus were not functional, according to investigators.

The PNP, through its Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), conducted the opening of bids for the purchase of the equipment on Sept. 9, 2008. Of the three bidders, only the joint venture of Enviro-Aire and Stoneworks Specialist International Corporation passed the eligibility and was set for post-qualification when Ondoy and Pepeng struck.

The PNP BAC then recommended to the Verzosa the discontinuance of the bidding process and resort to negotiated procurement.

The PNP entered into four separate supply contracts all dated December 18, 2009 with the following suppliers: EnviroAire for the supply of 93 units of OBMs with contract price of Php44,175,000; EnviroAire for the supply of 10 units of PRB with contract price of Php11,650,000; Geneve for the supply of 41 units of PRB with contract price of Php47,765,000; and (d) Bay Industrial for the supply of 10 units of PRB with contract price of Php11,650,000.

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