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Ochoa pledges to protect military institution

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Executive Secretary Paquito N. Ochoa Jr. assured government troops that the Aquino Administration had taken steps to protect the military institution amid allegations of corruption against former ranking officials of the armed forces.

“This administration will not allow the misdeeds of a few former military officials involved in this large-scale corruption to dishonor the thousands of men and women in uniform who put their lives on the line to defend and protect the country. We will not let their sacrifices go in vain,” Ochoa said.

“All these allegations will be looked into and investigated. Those who broke the law will be held accountable,” he added.

The Executive Secretary said President Benigno Aquino III was fully aware of the situation in the Armed Force of the Philippines (AFP) in connection with allegations that former generals had pocketed hundreds of millions in military funds.

Since last year, the Aquino administration and the AFP have put in place mechanisms to protect the AFP coffers from potential abuse and to make transactions transparent and honest, as well as ensure that all supplies and equipment intended for soldiers reach them, Ochoa said.

He praised whistle-blowers retired Lt. Col. George Rabusa, former budget officer with the AFP, former state auditor Heidi Mendoza, and Lt. Col. Antonio Lim for “stepping forward to shed light on allegations of corruption in the military,” and assured them that “this government will marshal its resources to ensure their safety so they can continue to aid us in finding the truth.”

Ochoa also appealed to the men and women in uniform to be “vigilant and report the misuse of funds” by their superiors.

“To our troops and the Filipino people, rest assured that this administration will do everything to protect the military institution. We recognize the courage and valuable contribution of our soldiers, who live and die in the name of freedom and democracy,” Ochoa added.




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