Hontiveros seeks probe on AFP spending of revenues from military bases sale

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 10 2020 06:50 PM

MANILA - Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Thursday filed a resolution seeking to investigate how the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spent billions it received from the sale of old military bases in the country, emphasizing the need for funds to modernize the military.

Hontiveros' Senate Resolution No. 520 also urges the chamber to look into the operations of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), which has been in charge of the sale of military real property.

"Ngayong patuloy ang banta ng terorismo at ang panggigipit ng China, kailangan natin siguraduhin na may sapat na pondo para sa modernisasyon ng ating sandatahang lakas," Hontiveros said in a statement.

(Because of the continuous threat of terrorism and Chinese aggression, we have to ensure that we have enough funds for the modernization of our Armed Forces.)

"We need to conduct a comprehensive audit of the proceeds from BCDA's operations over the years, to determine whether the AFP has been receiving its rightful share of such proceeds to finance its modernization projects," she said.

Armed Forces chief of staff Gen. Gilbert Gapay earlier told the Commission on Appointments that the BCDA has yet to remit some P13.2 billion from the sale of several military assets.

Under the Bases Conversion and Development Act, the BCDA is required to remit 35 percent of proceeds from the sale of former military camps to help fund the military's modernization program.

The BCDA earlier said the amount Gapay cited was just "parked" in the Bureau of the Treasury.

"The conflicting claims of these two agencies should be investigated and reconciled," Hontiveros saiod.

Gapay earlier urged senators to create a separate procurement mechanism for the Armed Forces to speed up the agency's modernization program, saying the purchase of military equipment is more complex compared to transactions of other government agencies.

Among prime property the military had sold to private ventures is the area now known as the upscale commercial area Bonifacio Global City, a former military reservation.