Back in September, the Philippine
government requested bids to provide six new attack helicopters to
aid in the fight against communist rebels and Islamic militants.
Boeing partner Asian Aerospace Corporation won the bid... but now,
the government is investigating irregularities in that process.
Undersecretary Ariston delos Reyes, a retired navy admiral, told
Reuters Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro had given him until
January 21 to probe complaints from Poland, one of the other
"We were ordered to look into complaints that certain rules in
the bidding procedures were ignored to favor one bidder over the
others," delos Reyes told Reuters. Interviews with officials have
yet to begin.
Asian Aerospace had offered the McDonnell Douglas-spec MG530F.
Poland's state-owned aircraft manufacturer, PZL-Swidnik S.A.,
offered six modified, Russian-made Mi2 Plus attack helicopters in
the contest. A third bidder, Italy's Agusta-Westland, was
disqualified after it failed to guarantee deliveries of the
aircraft within a 12-month period.
Most of the 85 UH-1H and MG-520 helicopters in the Philippine
fleet are Vietnam-era equipment, donated by the US to help the
country fight rebels. Only half are said to be in flying