Unsigned letter prompts AFP to probe purchases of hospital

Posted on October 14, 2014

THE PHILIPPINES’ armed forces is conducting a probe on allegations medicines and supplies bought by its hospital were either overpriced or undelivered.

A probe is being undertaken for drugs and medical supplies recently purchased by the AFP Medical Center. --
The entire Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center (AFPMC) is currently under investigation after an unsigned and undated letter was sent to the offices of the AFP Chief-of-Staff and the Ombudsman, a military spokesperson said in a press conference.

“The commander of the AFPMC is now being investigated with the whole members of the medical center by the OESPA (Office of the Ethical Standard and Public Accountability) as far as this allegation is concerned. The Chief-of-Staff wants to have a factual assessment of this to determine if there are indeed anomalies as stated,” AFP spokesperson Maj. Gen. Domingo M. Tutaan said in a press conference at Camp Aguinaldo on Monday.

Mr. Tutaan was unable to indicate if anomalies from the P80-million transaction involved overpricing, ghost purchases, or a rigged bidding, saying that the letter was “generally stated.” The anomalous purchase took place just this year, under the term of the present AFPMC commander, Brig. Gen. Normando T. Sta. Ana, Jr.

AFP Chief-of-Staff Gregorio Pio P. Catapang, Jr. has already ordered the OESPA of the military to handle the investigation as early as last month, Sept. 5, Mr. Tutaan said.

He also added that they have not yet received any orders from the Office of the Ombudsman compelling them to answer the accusation.

Mr. Tutaan also clarified that Mr. Sta. Ana, as well as any other AFPMC personnel are not yet relieved, saying that the AFP is still waiting for the initial report and findings of the investigation conducted by the OESPA. -- Alden M. Monzon