Golez: Plunder raps vs generals forthcoming

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 10 2011 11:25 AM | Updated as of Feb 10 2011 10:21 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A congressman said on Thursday he believes the justice department will be filing cases against individuals involved in military corruption based on the disclosures of former military budget officer George Rabusa and other whistleblowers.

“I’m sure with [Justice] Secretary Leila de Lima there, a plunder case can be filed against a lot of people,” Parañaque City 2nd District Rep. Roilo Golez said in an interview on ANC’s Headstart.

Golez said revelations made by Rabusa in Senate hearings since last week can be used against those involved in anomalies.

Rabusa had accused 3 former military chiefs – the late Angelo Reyes, Roy Cimatu and Diomedio Villanueva – of pocketing military funds.

Also implicated in the military fund scam were former military comptrollers Jacinto Ligot and Carlos Garcia.

The 5 former military top officials were accused of receiving military funds for their personal use.

The 3 former military chiefs allegedly received Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) funds before they stepped down from their posts, while Ligot and Garcia are being questioned for their unexplained wealth.

Rabusa also revealed some military transactions that did not go through public bidding.

Golez said that all Rabusa needs to do to strengthen his claim on illegal military transactions is to name the suppliers.

“Rabusa has to point to the suppliers, 'pag wala tayong mga suppliers the case would stop there,” the congressman said.

Double jeopardy?

Golez, meanwhile, said the double jeopardy rule still cannot be applied on Garcia with respect to his plunder case.

Garcia had pleaded guilty to direct bribery charges as part of a plea bargaining agreement with the Office of the Ombudsman.

The Office of the Ombudsman maintained that the deal has not been approved by the Sandiganbayan.

“Hindi pa raw approved ng Sandiganbayan ang plea bargain agreement, so plunder is still alive,” he said.

The House committee on justice has wrapped up its inquiry into the allegedly anomalous plea bargain agreement with Garcia and made a strong recommendation to Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez to withdraw the deal.

Golez said that if the plea bargain is withdrawn, testimonies from former government auditor Heidi Mendoza and Rabusa can be entered as new evidence against the former military comptroller.

During the last day of the hearings, congressmen threatened to file another impeachment case against Gutierrez later this year.

Gutierrez faced an impeachment case filed during the previous administration but it did not prosper. The one-year ban on the filing of another impeachment against her ends in August.