Sandiganbayan rejects cop's bid to junk raps in PNP chopper scam

By Benjamin Pulta

February 23, 2024, 3:24 pm

<p><em>(File photo)</em></p>

(File photo)

MANILA – The Sandiganbayan has denied the motion filed by one of the original accused in the charges arising from anomalies in the 2009 purchase of second-hand helicopters by the Philippine National Police (PNP).

The anti-graft court, in its 15-page resolution dated Feb. 21, denied the motion filed by then Senior Police Officer 4 (SPO4) Linda Padojinog, seeking the dismissal of the case against her, following the dismissal by the Ombudsman of administrative charges against her arising from the same transaction.

“The administrative liability of SPO4 Padojinog in no way determines her culpability as a conspirator in her criminal case. Again, this spells a difference in the nature of the criminal case filed against her, proving that one case cannot be dependent on the resolution of the other,” the tribunal said in the resolution.

Padojinog had initially been among the police officials dismissed in 2012 after the Ombudsman found them guilty of serious dishonesty and conduct prejudicial to the service.

The charges arose after investigations on irregularities in the PNP’s supposed purchase of brand-new and fully-equipped Robinson R44 Raven II Light Police Operational Helicopters (LPOHs) worth PHP42.3 million and two standard Robinson R44 Raven I LPOHs worth PHP62.7 million from the Manila Aerospace Products Trading Corp. (MAPTRA).

The Ombudsman found that MAPTRA delivered only one brand-new helicopter, the Robinson Raven II LPOH. The two other choppers were supposedly pre-owned.

The contract for the choppers was allegedly overpriced by PHP34.6 million. (PNA)