MANILAThe morale of ground troops is expected to be uplifted with President Rodrigo R. Duterte's relief and court martial order against the commanding officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Health Services Command (HSC) and AFP Medical Center (also known as the V. Luna Hospital) and several others for alleged involvement in anomalous trasactions.
"We expect that the morale of troops will be affected positively by this," Department of National Defense (DND) Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said Monday.
The abovementioned development shows the government is working hard to eliminate corruption in its ranks.
He added that the anomalies involving these personnel were uncovered by an internal audit and investigation by the military, along with a parallel inquiry by the Philippine AntiCorruption Commission.
"First, the corruption was discovered by internal audit and investigation. The Philippline Anti Corruption Commission also conducted parallel inquiry. It was determined that there were ghost deliveries," Lorenzana added.
The defense chief also said the incident is unfortunate considering that the DND and the AFP is 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.
Despite these developments, Lorenzana assured the public that the DND and AFP are sensitive to irregularities such as these and vow to continue safeguarding our institution against similar incidents in the future.
Earlier, AFP HSC head Brig. Gen. Edwin Leo Torrelavega, AFP Medical Center (also known as the V. Luna Hospital) commander Col. Antonio Punzalan and 20 others were ordered relieved and subjected to court martial proceedings for alleged procurement anomalies and ghost deliveries.
AFP chiefofstaff Gen. Carlito Galvez, Jr. said these personnel will be charged with violation of Article of War 95 (Fraud Against the Government). But this is without prejudice to other infractions of the Articles of War that may have also been violated; and the accused military personnel's right to due process.
"But I commit to the members of the AFP, to the Filipino People, and to our beloved President and CommanderinChief that I will render justice to all concerned without undue haste. As the President said during the last SONA (StateoftheNation Address) corruption is corrosive. And the warning that� 'I will get you!' And I am one with him in that desire. At ito na yun (This is what is happening now)," Galvez said.
In line with this and based on the findings in the investigation, the AFP chief bared that he will order that reforms be instituted in the AFPHSC, along with a major revamp in the unit to address the systemic corruption.
"I will cause the installation only of officers and staff with the necessary qualifications, competencies, integrity, and unquestionable reputation, to run this institution which is vital to the health and wellbeing of our personnel and their dependents," Galvez added. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency