DND backs Duterte’s purge of corrupt officials

MANILA The Department of National Defense (DND) expressed strong support for President Rodrigo R. Duterte's ongoing campaign to remove erring and corrupt officials from the government.

This was emphasized by Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana Monday following the Chief Executive's relief of Armed Forces of the Philippines Health Service Command (AFPHSC) head Brig. Gen. Edwin Leo Torrelavega, AFP Medical Center (also known as V. Luna Medical Center) commander Col. Antonio Punzalan and the chiefs of the facility's Management and Fiscal Office and Logistic Office among others.

The abovementioned officials are reportedly involved in the anomalous purchases of equipment and engaged in fraudulent transactions, including ghostpurchasing, splitting of contracts to circumvent mandatory bidding processes, and conceiving fictitious suppliers.

Aside from their immediate relief, these military officials will also be subjected to court martial proceedings.

"The relief of the AFP officials involved in the highlyquestionable transactions at the AFP Health Service Command was (the) result of an internal investigation, which was initiated by the Defense and military establishments. A parallel investigation was also conducted by the Presidential AntiCorruption Commission," Lorenzana added.

The defense chief also said the incident is unfortunate, considering that the DND and the AFP are currently enjoying the trust of the Filipino people.

"It is unfortunate that this happened at a time when the DND and AFP enjoys the trust and confidence of the Filipino people. We will ensure that those responsible will be held fully accountable for their actions. The investigations of the other individuals who might possibly be involved are still ongoing," he stressed.

Lorenzana, however, assured the public that the DND and AFP will not tolerate irregularities and vow to continue safeguarding the institution against similar incidents in the future. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency

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