Posts Tagged ‘AFP

28
Oct
11

The Armed Conflict In Mindanao & PNoy

What has happened to our country these days? Filipinos killing Filipinos! The recent killings of 19 soldiers in the southern part of the Philippines in the province of Basilan proved that the long war between the state and the rebels are still unresolved. It tells us that while there is politics being played by our leaders, our poor soldiers are shedding blood and are dying fighting and shielding themselves while awaiting for the result of the years long of peace talks. Peace talks that seem to be endless and are changing constantly as the terms of office of the Presidents end. Different politicians believe and undertake different processes. As a result we are going nowhere, the conflict continues.

Undeniably, this is a very sensitive and pressing issue because one mistake can lead to the deaths of many. Our poor brethren in Mindanao seem to pay for the price of this war. Bombings everywhere, bloody clashes, lawlessness and violence happen almost so often. I am afraid we are beginning to lose what we tried to carefully avoid in the past, a failed peace process.

While Pnoy cries for all out justice because he believes it is sober and fair and within the bounds of law and leads to lasting peace, and all out war is indiscriminate and borne out of anger, he must also understand, that the state must at all times be superior above all its subjects within its territory and it does not exempt the MILF. While there is an on going peace process, which is extremely important and healthy, the government should not lost control over its territory. It must exercise control at all times and the way things are turning out right now, that control is threatened. I am not sure anymore if this is what we desire for a strong government.

PNoy with MILF Chair Al Haj Murad

The best and most healthy thing and is very urgent at this point in time, if the MILF is really sincere about the peace process, is it should help the government give justice to its victims by turning in, their perpetrator comrades to the government for prosecution. Justice should be served. It is the prime duty of the state to impose peace and order among communities and while there are others who continuously defy the rule of law, should be brought before the law. It is not a matter of whether you call it a war or not. It’s just a term used, but it is matter of bringing in justice to every citizen. Even the monetary cost like what Secretary Ging Deles, head of the office of the Presidential Adviser on Peace Process attempted to justify over media to be very costly, to me was a desperate move to deceive the general opinion and persuade the Filipino people to chose the silent path and not act at all. I still believe that we can only attain justice if there is general peace.

Whenever there is a diminished control over some parts of our territory, there is the danger of becoming a failed state and this administration should clear its mind and focus on how to attain its goal of peace without wasting more lives of its people.

I feel for the soldiers who died because while I understand the danger that being the protector of peace and order, they are pretty aware that there chosen career constantly plays hide and seek with “Kamatayan”, in the name of the country they are serving and have sworn to protect. Recently, 19 of them and even more, did the ultimate sacrifice by dying so that we can live peacefully. I hope there deaths will never go to waste.

I must admit I was impressed to hear that our President Pnoy on a one on one  talk met with MILF Chair Al Haj Murad in Tokyo on August 5, 2011, to find peaceful solution to the armed conflict in Mindanao. What I and most Filipinos did not know, is that meeting had cost our government which is from our money 5 Million pesos for their so called Bangsamoro Leadership and Management Institute, a term no one ever heard before. But even so, I don’t think this is right. We have no business extending financial aid to a rebel group at whatever cost. It was never announced to the media until it came out in one of the news papers and not long later, Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda confirmed that the President has authorized the release of that 5 Million pesos.

Only 2 months later, the MILF in a bloody clash killed, hacked and mutilated 19 soldiers who did not even realize they were going to die that night since they were supposed to go on a scuba diving training but was given a short notice about a new mission. Is not it sad? Is not it frustrating and disappointing? I wonder how the government and its negotiators feel about it?

These issues are urgent, sensitive and very important. It calls for serious attention and careful planning. We don’t have much luxury of time because lives are cut off everyday. Action is needed now. We need a straight forward-justice driven government.

08
Feb
11

AFP Anomalies Revealed

Former COA Auditor Heidi Mendoza

Today, the names of AFP Generals like that of Angelo Reyes, Diomedio Villanueva, Roy Cimatu and their Comptrollers Carlos Garcia and Jacinto Ligot frequent the news, not mainly because of their services to the nation, but for pocketing millions of pesos from the state agency. Money which is most needed and could have been used to provide the common soldiers of their boots, uniforms, firearms and other equipment. The so called Bienvenida and Despidida system existed during their times, and this was on top of their monthly 5 million pesos allowance from the AFP coffers + the neverending foreign trips of their hifi wifeys.

Retired AFP Budget Officer Col. George Rabusa

Thanks to Retired AFP Budget Officer George Rabusa, his assistant  Col. Antonio Lim and COA Auditor Heidi Mendoza for bravely exposing these anomalies. I hope their efforts will bear results, not just grilling inquiries and investigations by the Senate and the lower house, but like what they always say, regardless of how long this whole saga takes, it still ends up in the Ombudsman. God bless the victims.

The so called best buddies in foreign trips were the wives of Angelo Reyes and Jacinto Ligot, Teresita and Erlinda, respectively, which often, went with their entourage composed of civilian friends and wives of other military officials. For Ligot alone, 42 trips and for each trip, the AFP shouldered the shopping money of $10,000 and sometimes $15,000. Also, Erlinda Ligot has 2 houses in California worth $688,000 acquired in 2002 and 2003. Her “Amnesia Boy” hubby can hardly remember these properties when asked by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada during the Senate Hearing. All in all, the Ligots has 8 real properties in the United States. Mrs. Ligot, surely lives a good life and enjoyed every opportunity her husband’s work provided her.

Gen. Angelo Reyes+

Reyes on the other hand was accused of pocketing P50 million in send-off gift (pabaon) when he retired in 2001 after only 20 months in office, on top of a P5-million monthly allocation during his term. He denied the allegations. Today, he shot himself dead in front of his mother’s grave. He was heard saying “Sorry” before he shot himself in the chest. The route he took to escape from the trouble he is in, is said to be the biggest crime and sin against life and does not deserve a christian burial according to catholic rites and beliefs.

On top of their 10 million each, for pasalubong (initial cash gift) and 5 million each, monthly allowance, Villanueva allegedly received 164,000 million pesos and Cimatu, 80,000 million pesos, when they retired as their share of the pabaon (send off gifts), will continue to face these accusations, unless they follow Reyes, then its a different story, another lost for the Philippine coffers.

Gen. Carlos "The Brain" Garcia

Another revelation, on top of the initial cash gifts, monthly allowance and send off gifts, there was a ready cash available for the AFP Chief and other officials for their personal and operational expenses, the amount of no lesser than 20,000 million pesos, called a sinking fund. In other words, these money kept in a vault should not go below 20m, otherwise, it should be replenished right away with funds coming from skimmed off allocations for salaries and operational expenses of military units. The conversion, had the go-signal of military comptrollers and the knowledge of state auditors who received commissions.

COA Auditor Divina Cabrera allegedly received 2% commission for every transaction/under investigation

To former Comptroller Carlos Garcia and COA Auditor Divina Cabrera, we will keep an eye on your answers in defense of the allegations against you two.

To the Filipino soldiers in the field, let’s be glad this corruption is finally revealed. Let’s not lost hope, but continue to trust and serve the whole Filipino nation. God is with us.




My standpoint


Mabuhay Pinoy

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