The bids and award committee of the Department of National Defense met with suppliers during a pre-bid conference on Wednesday at Camp Aguinaldo for the procurement of three different rifle ammunitions worth P522 million.
The DND-BAC for the projects is led by Assistant Secretary Ernesto Boac, a retired Army general.
At least six representatives of foreign suppliers such as ATK of United States, the controversial MKEK (Mechanical and Chemical Industry Corporation) of Turkey with its local partner System Nomics Philippines, and Expal of Spain. Two more companies from Brazil and Israel also attended the conference but only ATK and MKEK bought bid documents.
“But that doesn’t mean we’re not qualified to join the bidding because we’ve until the last day of schedule to buy a bid document worth P50,000,” a source said.
Also present during the conference was lawyer Editha Santos, reportedly in the company of MKE representatives and their local representative System Nomics owner Alan Mendoza, another source said.
Santos was former chief accountant of the Philippine Army and among seven officials who were suspended for six months in 2009 by the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the questionable procurement of Army boots worth P102.1 million in 2004.
Santos was also linked to the P1.2 billion helicopter deal controversy that some DND officials entered into with the US-based Rice Aircraft Services Incorporated.
On the ammo contracts, the DND broke down the bids into three projects: P534 million for SS109/M855, P100 million for the Ball Linked and P102 million for M193.
Another source said that there was actually a pre-bid conference on November 4, 2015 but the discussion on the procurement of the SS109 ammo was eventually scrapped for some reasons.
Just recently, the Army announced the completion of delivery of less than 60,000 brand new M4 rifles from US-based manufacturer Remington. A portion of the delivered rifles sent to the Philippine Navy.
The BAC set the bid opening for the ammunition supply on February 23, 2016.