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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Chopper deal axed, US supplier blacklisted

UH-1H HueyThe Department of National Defense (DND) has scrapped the controversial P1.2- billion UH-1 helicopter project and ordered the blacklisting of the supplier, the joint venture between Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and Eagle Copter Ltd of Canada.

On Friday, MalacaƱang confirmed that Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin had ordered the termination of the deal, which has been the subject of a series run by The Manila Times based on statements made by “Joey,” who will be the government’s principal witness once congressional investigations of the anomalous transaction start.

Gazmin “terminated the contract and issued a blacklisting order against the supplier. We only have accepted 7 UH-1 helicopters. We continue to commit to the observance of our procurement laws and defend what is advantageous to the government,” Presidential Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said, quoting a statement sent to him by the DND Public Information Office.

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