|BRP Tarlac (File Photo)|
By Edith Regalado
DAVAO CITY, Philippines – Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana has ordered an investigation on the possible involvement of Philippine officials in the alleged bribery case over the sale of two strategic sealift vessels (SSV) to the Philippines that has so far seen the arrest of 17 people in Indonesia.
“We are looking into it, if any Filipino official is involved in the bribery case. Definitely, there will be an investigation,” Lorenzana said.
Manila-based Indonesian broker Ashanti Sales allegedly agreed with PT. PAL officials on a cash back deal from the sale that amounted to about 4.7 percent of the contract value.
PT. PAL is an Indonesian state-owned shipbuilding company, from which the Philippine Navy bought two SSVs worth at least P4 billion: the BRP Tarlac, which was delivered in May 2016, and BRP Davao del Sur, expected to be delivered next month.
The alleged bribery case involving PT. PAL officials does not affect the on-time delivery of the second warship, according to the defense chief.
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