Reforming the military-A A +A
As I See It
Saturday, July 21, 2012
MATUWID na daan. Matuwid na AFP. Yes, it is our dream to reform the Philippine society and that includes the military that safeguards our republic and our sovereignty. I hope that the dream will become a reality. Shall we start?
We always suspected that there was some kind of magic in the military but we could not point out who the magician is. It was on December 19, 2003 that the US Customs agents detained two brothers who just landed at San Francisco Airport. They came from Manila and they failed to declare the big amount in dollar in their possession. The two brothers said that the money came from their mother and the husband is a Filipino two-star general of the AFP.
It was later found out that the husband is the AFP Comptroller and the wife would often travel with the husband on official business and she is bringing huge amount of money for travel expenses and shopping.
The money story mutated and it almost became a fiction. The findings of the American authority were sent to the Philippines for the Ombudsman to act. The husband was transferred to another office.
On September 28, the general was charged with grave misconduct and dishonesty. The Ombudsman suspended him without pay. On that very day, Mr. General filed a terminal leave of absence in preparation for his retirement on November 18. Was he suspended or allowed to go on leave?
A Brigadier General from the Air Force who retired from the service was also charged with graft committed when he was still a colonel assigned at Mactan Air Base. He was involved in the transaction of four generators worth P1.2 million without public bidding. And, there was another Brigadier General who was accused of allegedly extorting millions of pesos from a military contractor.
An Army Major General has been indicted before the Sandiganbayan on four counts for the falsification of his SAL (1997-2000) to cover hid ill-gotten wealth. And, there was this former AFP Chief who has been charged also with unexplained wealth. The former president of the AFP Retirement and Separation Benefits System in the ‘90s is facing also dozens of fraud charges for overpriced purchase of land and issuance of fake titles.
We can go on with litany of offenders in our Armed Forces of the Philippines. We know it very well that our men in the battlefield are losing lives. Many of them don’t even have the proper uniform and enough supply of ammunition yet they persevere because it is their calling. They can kill or they can be killed. Their parents or the wives will just receive the flag of the Philippines and a little pension which is not even enough to start a sari-sari store.
We want reforms in our Armed Forces of the Philippines. The accused generals seem to be getting VIP treatment and we know it very well that the Oakwood coup leaders who went with Trillanes (now a senator) are still restricted behind double bars in their detention center.
Corruption in the military could be in the comptroller office. There could be the conversion of checks intended for supplies and operations to cash. The unseen hand could always be safe because the sunshine is properly spread. Everybody is happy.
The US may nail down also our AFP because America is sending also financial assistance to our military. The rotten bananas in the military institution destroy the very institution where they are in. Whatever happens, the plunderers have already their big deposits in banks outside of the country. They have already their big houses here and abroad.
Under the PNoy administration, we hope that there will be a change. The change should start from within. Those who are guilty will be bothered by their conscience. As military men, they have lived with a gun and if they do not reform, they will end themselves by a gun. Bang!
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on July 21, 2012.