Rabusa implicates 5 more in AFP ‘corruption’

Former military budget officer George Rabusa on Wednesday filed with the Department of Justice (DOJ) an amended complaint affidavit adding more respondents to the plunder complaint he filed last April in connection with alleged corrupt activities in the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Rabusa, who brought with him a truckload of documents, this time implicated North Luzon Command head Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan, retired Maj. Gen. Ernesto Boac, and state auditors Arturo Besana, Crisanto Gabriel, and Manuel Warren to the alleged misuse of AFP funds.

GMA News Online tried to reach AFP spokesperson Commodore Miguel Lopez Rodriguez for comment but he could not be contacted as of posting time.

The DOJ is conducting a preliminary investigation into the initial plunder complaint, where Rabusa alleged that those he named as respondents are liable for misuse and conversion of some P2.3-billion in military funds for the period of 2000 to 2005.

Seventeen personalities are listed on the charge sheet in Rabusa's initial complaint, including former AFP chiefs Gen. Diomedio Villanueva, Gen. Roy Cimatu and Gen. Efren Abu.

Also named respondents were former comptrollers Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia and Jacinto Ligot; Maj. Gen. Hilario Atendido (retired); Maj. Gen. Epineto Logico (ret.); BGen. Benito de Leon; Col. Cirilo Donato; Col. Roy Devesa; Maj. Emerson Angulo; Maj. Ernesto Paranis (ret); Col. Gilbert Gapay; Col. Robert Arevalo and Capt. Kenneth Paglinawan.

Two auditors from the Commission on Audit – Generoso del Castillo and Divina Cabrera – were likewise included on the charge sheet.

New complaint

In his 105-page amended complaint, Rabusa said he is including Pangilinan as a respondent because he may have been a "bagman" for the kickbacks allegedly received by the late AFP chief of staff Arturo Enrile, to whom Pangilinan served as executive assistant.

Rabusa added that Boac may have participated in corrupt activities too when he served as budget officer of the now defunct Office of the Comptroller (J6).

The three other state auditors may have also given their acquiescence to the alleged misuse of military funds, Rabusa added.

Asked why it took him almost two months to prepare his amended complaint, Rabusa said that the first complaint did not include the testimony of retired Col. Arnulfo Dela Cruz, a disbursing officer when Rabusa served as budget officer.

"We have to amend it [complaint] because we obtained additional documents," Rabusa said at a news briefing at the DOJ after he filed his amended complaint.

With the nuns' help

Rabusa and his legal counsel, Noel Malaya, also said that the volume of documents and budget problems also delayed the filing.

"When we filed the complaint, we submitted only three copies. So we were required to file additional 22 copies. Our problem was for the first three sets, it cost us P10,000 per set," said Malaya.

He also said that the documents they needed to submit took them 400 reams of bond paper.

He added that nuns from the Association of Major Religious Superiors of the Philippines (AMRSP) helped augment the budget for the photocopying of the documents. The nuns likewise helped collate the documents, Malaya said.

"We aired our sentiments to the nuns and they immediately helped us financially. They contributed money for the photocopying. The envelopes of documents you see here, they are responsible for this. They helped us also in the foldering," Malaya said. — KBK, GMA News