AFP creates 3 court martial tribunals

MANILA, Philippines – Armed Forces chief General Carlito Galvez Jr on Friday, August 17,  said he created 3 court martial tribunals as he issued a stern warning against corruption and irregularities.

“I created 3 court martial [tribunals] already. Lahat nang mga ma-implicate sa corruption at mga tinatawag nating irregularities ay atin pong bibigyan ng hustisya (Justice will be served on those implicated in corruption and so-called irregularities),” Galvez said in a speech on Friday as he led the commemoration of the liberation of Mapandi Bridge in Marawi City.  

Galvez said at least one more officer is facing conviction, the alleged conspirator of Philippine Military Academy comptroller Hector Maraña, who was accused of misusing P15 million worth of cadets’ allowances. (READ: Duterte dismisses PMA comptroller Hector Maraña)

Galvez said Maraña will be transferred from the custody of the Intelligence Services of the AFP (Isafp) to the New Bilibid Prison.

The AFP chief  reiterated his promise to eradicate corruption in the military, his mantra since he assumed the top post in the military.

“As I’ve said earlier in my assumption speech, I will make the AFP clean,” he said.

'Don't tarnish heroism in Marawi'

At the Marawi event held at the Marines headquarters on Friday, Galvez said he will not let corruption tarnish the heroism soldiers have shown in the 5-month-long battles last year. 

“Hindi natin pahintulutan na masayang ang sakripisyo ng ating bayaning kasamahan dahil lamang sa maling gawain ng iilan (We will not allow the wrongdoings of a few negate the sacrifices of our heroic forces)," he said.

I will make sure that all those who are guilty, who have embezzled our resources, will be punished. This will be a signal for those who will attempt [to engage in corruption]. Justice will be [served],” Galvez added.

Maraña’s dismissal was announced after the corruption controversy exploded at the AFP Medical Center, also known as the V. Luna General Hospital based on its address in V. Luna Avenue, Quezon City. The classmate of Galvez at the PMA, Brigadier General Leo Torrelavega and 19 other officers were dismissed over alleged corruption involving up tp P200 million in contracts.

Galvez said the irregular contracts discovered at PMA involved old projects from 2006 to 2012. The questionable contracts at the AFP Medical Center were as recent as 2016. 

'Cleansing will benefit AFP'

Galvez told an audience of Marines that the cleansing in the military will benefit the organization. 

“We are cleansing our organization so that all the resources, all the logistics will be given to the field,” Galvez said. 

“Maganda po sa organization ‘yun. Itong mga kakaunti na gumagawa ng tinatawag nating hindi maganda dito sa ating organisasyon, dapat alisin natin 'yan (It will be good for the organization. These few people involved in irregularities should be removed),” Galvez said.  

Galvez said “systemic corruption” was discovered at the military hospital, where the same officers initiate, inspect, and receive projects. He ordered a revamp. –