Press Release
July 3, 2015

Koko backs Nancy's call to place military chopper deal whistleblower in WPP

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel lll today expressed support behind the call of Sen. Nancy Binay for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to place a whistle-blower in the military's alleged "rotten" purchase of helicopters under its Witness Protection Program (WPP).

Pimentel said Rhodora Alvarez, an employee of the Bureau of Internal Revenue who squealed on the alleged anomalous deal of the Department of National Defense (DND), should be immediately placed under the WPP to protect her against threats to her life.

He said Alvarez is a very vital witness in the procurement of substandard and 50-year old refurbished helicopters from an American firm, Rice Aircraft Services, Inc. (RASH) that delivered only seven out of 21 helicopters ordered by the Philippine government.

In a recent Senate investigation, Alvarez said that the DND contract was "tailor-made" for the American firm, one of the two US suppliers along with Eagle Copters, Ltd., that were disqualified in earlier public biddings but later on considered in the negotiated deal.

Alvarez is now reportedly a target of unidentified men shadowing her after she spilled the beans on the controversial P1.2 billion contract.

"It is both important and urgent that she is protected at all times by the government to tell all whoever is involved in this deal," said Pimentel, urging DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima to exert extra efforts to place Alvarez under the WPP.

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