Military Corruption

Opinions Unlimited

by Atty. Tony(APA) Acyatan (Atty. APA – chairman of Acyatan & Co., CPAs-DFK International is PICPA past national president and Accountancy Hall-of-Famer, and past chairman of ASEAN Federation of CPAs).

ROTTEN AFP:  Some months back – the previous Administration filed criminal and administrative charges against Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia, erstwhile AFP Comptroller.  The hearings would have proceeded naturally until news of the “legally improper” plea-bargaining between the Accused and the government prosecutors came to the fore.  The Senate was investigating said impropriety when – out of the blue surfaced a retired military budget officer.

Without much prodding, Lt. Col. George Rabusa revealed that gargantuan disbursements were usually made by the AFP which eventually lined up the pockets of high-ranking military officials.  The biggest outlay allegedly favored the appointed Chiefs of Staffs – as they assumed office, during their tenure, and as they leave the office.  Specially named was former Secretary of National Defense Angelo Reyes.  Also cited were Diomedio Villanueva and Roy Cimatu.  “Pasalubong” and “Pabaon” are now buzz-words.

HORRIBLE:  The public is awaiting further revelations from the would-be “state witness”.  No doubt – majority of Filipinos are appalled by the greed and opportunism of the military perpetrators.  During the Senate hearing – former military man and now senator Antonio Trillanes III commented that these are the issues that his Magdalo group was fighting for.  Ill-equipped military personnel in the combat zones are dying because the appropriated funds for their use were being pocketed by their seniors!

Had these facts been known to the voters earlier, military activists Gen. Danny Lim and Col. Ariel Querubin would have been elected senators last year – in the manner that Sen. Trillanes was catapulted to the Senate in 2007.  Well – 2013 is not so far away now, the gentlemen still have the chance to make their mark.  With all these new developments – the challenge is on the presidency.  His decision and action on this critical matter can make or unmake him as a national leader.

CAR-JACKING: Most drivers are now fearful of driving alone especially at night – and even along the expressways.  The possibility of ruthless people blocking our way …– or stopping us by bumping our rears or pointing to supposedly problems of our vehicles – are so common.  The security-minded advise us to refrain from alighting from our vehicles until we are sure that it is safe to leave the comfort of our seat.

Other safety reminders include – choosing to park in well-lighted (and secured) locations, and leaving our parked and locked vehicle (and just watching it from a distance).  It is better to shell out a few pesos for parking fees – than losing our “beloved, and being amortized” car or AUV.  From all these – we sigh a deep breath and ask:  “what’s happening to our country, Mr. President?”  It will be overly simple if we will again point the accusing finger on Madam Glo.

COST-OF-LIVING:  The economic scenario is not threatening for the upper crust of our society.  No matter how high our cost of living goes – they have more than enough wherewithal to pay the prices.  But for the middle and lower classes – the increase in costs of commodities (including the now shrunk pan de sal) are heavy burdens the “masa” may no longer be able to carry. The tight situation breeds criminal intentions and eventual perpetrations against property and even life.

Of course, the proverbial remedy for “hard life” is thrift – even with our necessities.  Budget purchases are the orders of the day – as in limiting cooking to just enough.  Eating “Teriaki” (left-overs) may also be resorted to as an economic measure.  The era of the high costs of fuel, water and power – and the upsurge of toll fees and taxes – all these, we pray, will all pass away ……. hopefully still in our lifetime and better yet, during the term of our beloved president.

PRAYER: Our Lord is a God of goodness; He will not allow us to suffer evil forever!


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