Category Archives: Corruption

The Thales Group’s Long History of Corruption

A Kang Ding class Frigate of the Taiwanese Navy. Beneath its beauty lies a scandal full of bribes and at least one death. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

One day, after I kept seeing Thales’ name splashed all over the news related to the purchase of our Frigates from Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), I just suddenly got this idea of researching about corruption news related to them on the internet. And I was quite surprised to see virtually a deluge of detailed materials about it come up on my screen. Hence I thought it would be a good idea to organize my findings and put them into this blog.

’The Thales Group’1
But first, let’s learn a little bit about the company, previously known as Thomson CSF until they changed their name in 2000 to the Thales Group. It is a pretty big company with around 64,000 employees in 56 countries, with a revenue of EUR 15 billion (around USD 18.54 billion at the exchange rate of EUR 1 = USD 1.24) in 2016.
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The Saga of the Philippine Army Body Armor Procurement

The few Philippine Army Soldiers that were lucky enough to have been issued Body Armor, taken during Balikatan 2012. Photo courtesy of the US DVIDS website.
The few Philippine Army Soldiers that were lucky enough to have been issued Body Armor, taken during Balikatan 2012. Photo courtesy of the US DVIDS website.

The original meaning of the term “Saga” as defined by dictionary.com was, “a medieval Icelandic or Norse prose narrative of achievements and events in the history of a personage, family, etc.” However, in modern usage it also now means “any very long story with dramatic events or parts”, which would aptly describe the Philippine Army’s (PhA) procurement of Body Armor for its troops.

I got interested in this recently when the Manila Standard broke out the news that former Commanding General of the Philippine Army (PhA) and now Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) General Hernando Iriberri sought to re-align the budget for the Shore-Based Missile System (SBMS) to instead buy Individual Equipment and Weapons for the PhA, including Body Armor. [1]
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The RASI Huey Procurement: A Black Mark on the AFP Modernization

A UH-1 Huey Helicopter of the Philippine Air Force at the AFP Museum in Quezon City. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
A UH-1 Huey Helicopter of the Philippine Air Force at the AFP Museum in Quezon City. Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The modernization of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) took a serious blow when allegations of corruption hit another of its procurement programs, this time for the purchase of 21 Refurbished UH-1 Huey Helicopters. This is the SECOND defense procurement hit with serious corruption allegations, the first one was the procurement of M113 Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs).

’History and Milestones’
In order to have a good idea of what really happened to this project, we need to look at the FACTS, and one way to do that would be to take a look at its HISTORY, to take a look at the IMPORTANT MILESTONES that marked it:
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