AFP chief scrambles to fix 'systemic corruption' in military hospital


Posted at Aug 13 2018 03:58 PM | Updated as of Aug 13 2018 05:29 PM

AFP Chief-of-Staff Carlito Galvez Jr. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) on Monday vowed to fix the alleged "systemic corruption" in the military's V. Luna hospital in just a month. 

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte fired the top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines - Health Services Command over alleged corruption.

AFP Chief-of-Staff Carlito Galvez Jr. said the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP) found at least 17 questionable transactions, amounting to around P17 million.

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"'Yung report ng ISAFP is very extensive because it also points out to a system and at the same time those people that were really involved. We have to correct. I've given a statement that the Armed Forces of the Philippines will fix this in one month," he said in a press conference. 

Galvez said a "discreet investigation" by the ISAFP began after they received a complaint from the Office of the President last May on the "ghost deliveries" and irregular deals by hospital officials. 

He said ISAFP, in its initial probe covering only 5 of the 17 transactions, found a systemic corruption where top officials were involved from the start to the end of the purchase process. 

"Kaya sinabi naming systemic, kasi 'yung H4 o 'yung sa logistics, and the management and fiscal officer, silang dalawa lang 'yung from the start up the end. Walang transparency," he explained. 

Duterte has fired Brig. Gen. Edwin Leo Torrelavega, head of the AFP-HSC, and Col. Antonio Punzalan, commander of the V. Luna hospital, his spokesman Harry Roque earlier said Monday.

Heads of the health service command's management and fiscal office and the logistics office were also ordered relieved over alleged anomalous equipment purchases.

Harry Roque, quoting Galvez, earlier said an estimated total of 20 officers will be relieved in connection with the controversy at the V. Luna hospital or the AFP Medical Center.

The AFP chief said he also ordered some of his men to pursue cases against officials involved before the Ombudsman as they continue to probe other dubious transactions.