President Rodrigo Duterte’s “anti-corruption ax” hit two high-ranking military officials and other personnel of the AFP Medical Center (AFPMC), according to Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque on Monday (August 13).
The officials included AFP Health Service Commander BGen. Edwin Leo and the Commander of the V. Luna Medical Center Colonel Antonio Punzalan.
Roque said the President was “personally aggravated” upon confirmation of the corruption in V. Luna Medical Center which includes ghost purchases of up to P1.49 million, fraudulent transactions and anomalous procurement of medical equipment.
Roque added that President Duterte was “ballistic”, noting that he recently ordered the release of P50 million a month to V. Luna to make sure that the military hospital will have sufficient funds to cover all the medical needs of soldiers only to find out that the funds may be going to the pockets of corrupt military officials.
The Presidential Spokesperson said a whistle blower exposed the alleged irregularities.
“Apparently, it’s a conspiracy. It was an institutional corruption in V. Luna,” he said.
Following their relief, the two officials will undergo court martial proceedings.
Aside from the two, the Chief of Management and Fiscal Office of the AFPMC and other employees were also be relieved.
AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez, meanwhile, immediately ordered an investigation on the matter while the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) started its own probe. — Rosalie Coz / Marje Pelayo
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