Malacañang calls for probe into frigate deal issue

February 3, 2018, 5:39 pm

MANILA -- Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. on Saturday called for an investigation into the multi-billion Navy frigate contract entered into by the previous administration with a Korean firm.

This is in connection with the statement of Magdalo Partylist Representative Gary Alejano saying that Hyundai Heavy Industries was banned to participate in state-led bids in South Korea due to the firm's alleged bribery cases in other countries.

"Congressman Alejano, salamat po. Dahil sa iyong sinabi iimbestigahan na po natin yung inyong mga kakampi noong nakalipas na administrasyon," the Palace spokesperson said in a Malacañang press briefing held in Laoag, Ilocos Norte.

"Kung totoo na blacklisted iyong binigyan nila ng kontrata, dapat managot iyong mga opisyales ng mga nakalipas na administrasyon at sabihin sa atin bakit naging ganoon ang kanilang naging desisyon," Roque added, reiterating that the contract was already a done deal in the previous administration.

The Duterte administration, he said, merely performed a ministerial function in giving the Notice of Award to the winning bidder, pursuant to a provision of Republic Act No. 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform law.

Meanwhile, the Palace spokesperson praised Ilocos Norte for being chosen by giant international cruise liner Star Cruises as a cruise destination.

"The Super Virgo, one of its luxury liners, can accommodate up to 2,800 passengers and 1,100 crew members. We’re confident that we can surpass last year’s 99,147 foreign travelers in Region I," Roque said, citing the Accommodation Establishment Data of the Department of Tourism (DOT).

He also assured that the government, through the DOT, would assist in the building of a world-class port facility in Currimao, Ilocos Norte.

"Kung nagkaroon po tayo ng mas magandang puerto dito sa Currimao, we can expect more cruise liners to call on the Currimao port," Roque added.

Roque also congratulated Ilocos for marking its 200th founding anniversary. He particularly noted the Broadway-like production of the Tan-ok ni Ilokano Festival in Laoag.

"That is one of the best festivals that I've ever witnessed, bordering on probably the best," Roque said. (PCO Content)