MANILA, Philippines (June 10 2011) - Defense Assistant Secretary Ernesto Boac has offered to resign or go on indefinite leave after he was included in the amended plunder complaint filed by military corruption whistleblower George Rabusa.
Boac, who handles the defense department’s comptrollership activities, said quitting his post or going on indefinite leave would allow him to respond to Rabusa’s allegations.
“The first option is that I will file my resignation. The second option is to go on an indefinite leave without pay so that this will also give the opportunity to prepare myself to answer the allegations,” Boac said in a press briefing yesterday.
He said the move would be the right (thing) to do considering that he is holding a critical position in the department.
“Prudence dictates that I should not continue with my functions because of the very serious case filed against me and I am holding a key position,” he said.
Boac, who also heads the defense department’s bids and awards committee, said he had already informed Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin about his plans.
Asked if he was really involved in the misuse of military funds, Boac said: “I cannot deny something that I have not seen. As of now, I have not seen that 105-page affidavit (of Rabusa) so there is nothing to deny.”
Boac, however, denied Rabusa’s claim that he received more than P300 million worth of military funds.
Rabusa, who earlier claimed that key military officers were entitled to hefty cash incentives, tagged five more officials in the plunder raps he filed before the Justice department.
The new respondents are Boac, Northern Luzon Command chief Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan and state auditors Arturo Besana, Crisanto Gabriel and Manuel Warren.
Rabusa alleged that Boac pocketed more than P330 million when he was the budget officer of the then deputy chief of staff for comptrollership.
He said Pangilinan might have been a “bagman” for the kickbacks supposedly received by the late AFP chief Arturo Enrile while serving as the latter’s executive assistant.
Pangilinan might have received more than P88 million, he added.
Rabusa, who had admitted benefiting from the anomalies in the use of military funds, said Besana, Gabriel and Warren were given bribe money worth P26 million, P58 million and P69 million, respectively.
Pangilinan declined to issue a statement on Rabusa’s allegations.
The military, for its part, vowed to cooperate with those who will investigate the case.
“Let the wheels of justice take its due course. We shall comply with any requirement that the judicial system will require us to do,” said Armed Forces spokesman Commodore Miguel Rodriguez.
A total of 17 officials were implicated in Rabusa’s original complaint which he filed last April.
They include former AFP chiefs Diomedio Villanueva, Roy Cimatu and Efren Abu; former military comptrollers Lt. Gen. Jacinto Ligot and Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia; Col. Cirilo Tomas Donato, Col. Roy Devesa, Maj. Emerson Angulo, retired Maj. Gen. Hilario Atendido, Brig. Gen. Benito de Leon, retired Lt. Col. Ernesto Paranis, Capt. Kenneth Paglinawan, Col. Gilbert Gapay, Col. Robert Arevalo, and Maj. Gen. Epineto Logico.
Also named as respondents were two civilians namely former Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines resident auditor Divina Cabrera and accountant Generoso del Castillo.