Saturday, August 13, 2011

Retired military chief turns tables on whistleblower

A FORMER general charged with receiving millions skimmed off from the military's discretionary funds turned the tables on his accuser, saying that he may have lied during testimony.
Retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief Roy Cimatu, who is charged with plunder, is also asking that the case filed against him at the Department of Justice be dismissed.
These, among others, are contained in his 40-page affidavit that was filed before Prosecutor General Claro Arellano.
In his counter-affidavit, he said that plunder charges and fund conversion allegations filed against him by retired Lt. Col. George Rabusa are mere fabrications devoid of evidence.
Previously, Rabusa accused Cimatu, together with other retired AFP chiefs-of-staff Diomedio Villanueva and Efren Abu, of receiving at least P50-million in AFP funds as send-off money upon retiring from the service.
"We’re trying to show in the defense of General Cimatu that the entire scheme that was stated is false. They are all concocted lies, and we are trying to prove that some of those documents were fabricated," said Cimatu’s counsel, Sixto Antonio.
Cimatu's counter-affidavit also claimed that some of the documents submitted by Rabusa were unsigned, indicating that these were probably manufactured or forged.
Official documents are usually signed and certified, reflecting the name of the department where it came from, unlike the ones submitted by Rabusa.
“We have been able to establish that it is not his initial and not his signature. We got certification from AFP attesting to the signature of Gen. Cimatu based on official files,” his counsel said.
Villanueva and Abu already submitted their respective counter-affidavits in earlier hearing last July 28.
Besides the three former AFP chiefs, other respondents including former military comptrollers Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot and Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia have also submitted their counter-affidavits.
Others officials who have also submitted their affidavits include Col. Cirilo Tomas Donato, Col. Roy Devesa, Maj. Emerson Angulo, retired Maj. Gen. Hilario Atendido, B/Gen. Benito de Leon, retired Lt. Col. Ernesto Paranis, Capt. Kenneth Paglinawan, Col. Gilbert Gapay, Col. Robert Arevalo, Maj. Gen. Epineto Logico, retired Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan, and retired Maj. Gen. Ernesto Boac.
Two auditors from the Commission on Audit – Generoso del Castillo and Divina Cabrera – were likewise charged.
In his complaint, Rabusa alleged the respondents are liable for misuse and conversion of some P2.3-billion in military funds for the period of 2000 to 2005 for their personal benefit.
To prove his corruption allegations, Rabusa brought 20 folders of documents, including receipts of conversion of AFP funds and the amount of budget approved by the former chief of staff during the period 2000 to 2001, which would serve as documentary evidence for the case.
To further boost his claims, Rabusa also submitted the affidavits of former civilian budget officer Perla Valerio and former military disbursement officer Romeo Mateo who corroborated his allegations. (JCV/Sunnex)

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