Press Release
June 22, 2015


Senator Teofisto "TG" Guingona III, chair of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, today assured the whistleblower in the chopper deal controversy that he is supporting her bid to be placed under the government's Witness Protection Program (WPP).

Senator Guingona said he has written Justice Secretary Leila de Lima last June 3 to request that Rhodora Alvarez be placed under the WPP in the wake of the latter's concern that her life "may be in danger."

Alvarez earlier disclosed alleged anomalies surrounding the purchase of second-hand helicopters by Department of National Defense (DND) officials. She accused them of "tailor-fitting" the terms of reference for the supply to favor a bidder, the Rice Aircraft Services, Inc. (RASI).

Senator Guingona said Secretary De Lima has assured him that the request for Alvarez' placement under the WPP "is being studied" and that a decision "will be arrived within the week.

The senator said Alvarez "plays a key role" in the Blue Ribbon probe on the controversy.

"We recognize the value of that role and we are making sure she is safe and protected so she can fulfill that role," Senator Guingona added.

Senator Guingona earlier said he wants Defense officials to answer the "serious and potentially damaging allegations" by Alvarez in connection with the purchase of 21 refurbished UH-1 helicopters. Senator Guingona said the accusations contained in an affidavit submitted by Alvarez are "disturbing". He expressed hope that the Department of National Defense (DND) will be able to answer them.

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