Latest Stories

Rabusa immune from plunder raps


The Office of the Ombudsman has spared former military budget officer and retired Col. George Rabusa from facing plunder and graft charges alongside fellow military officials whom he earlier implicated in the multi-million “pabaon” (retirement cash gifts) funds conversion scam in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales dismissed the plunder and graft charges filed against Rabusa on grounds that he enjoys immunity as a state witness under the Department of Justice’s Witness Protection Program.

In a 13-page resolution dated Feb. 27, 2013, but released only yesterday, Morales said the complainants against Rabusa could not question the DOJ’s decision to turn Rabusa into a state witness.

Morales said the Supreme Court had vested in the DOJ “the power to determine who can qualify as a witness in the program and who shall be granted immunity from prosecution.”

Rabusa was charged with plunder and graft by Arturo Besana, the resident auditor assigned by the Commission on Audit (COA) to the AFP general headquarters from Dec. 1, 1994, to June 29, 1995, and Maj. Ernesto Angulo.

They said Rabusa was the “brains” behind the anomalies and should be similarly charged based on his “admissions” in the amended complaint he filed with the DOJ against Besana and 12 others for plunder.

In that complaint, Rabusa admitted he gave instructions to convert P200 million of AFP funds into dollars “without going through the regular banking system” and subsequently transmitted the amount to a bank in Bangkok, Thailand.

Rabusa had also admitted that “the funds utilized came from personnel services or from salary and allowances of soldiers.”

In that complaint, Rabusa also disclosed that he deposited P160 million in an account under his name at the Herrera Branch of Security Bank “for the ‘pabaon’ of General Villanueva.”

Besana had accused Rabusa of availing of the government’s Witness Protection Program to avoid prosecution for plunder even though “he was the ‘brains,’ together with his staff, of this plunderous scheme involving unlawful manipulation of AFP funds and resources.”

Rabusa was the one who revealed the multi-billion anomaly inside the military which resulted to the filing of criminal cases against former ranking military officials including former AFP chiefs Diomedio Villanueva and Roy Cimatu; retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia (former AFP chief comptroller); retired Maj. Gen. Jacinto Ligot (former AFP chief comptroller); Brig. Gen. Benito Antonio de Leon; Col. Cirilo Tomas Donato (Isafp budget officer)  and retired Lt. Col. Ernesto Paranis ( commanding officer of the Finance Service Unit of AFP Intelligence Service).

Also charged were retired Maj. Gen. Hilario Atendido, for his alleged participation as “bagman” of Villanueva and Col. Roy Devesa, former executive assistant to the late Chief of Staff Gen. Angelo Reyes.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Armed Forces of the Philippines , Conchita Carpio-Morales , George Rabusa , Office of the Ombudsman , Plunder

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Santiago accuses Lacson of fronting for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  2. Name names, Lacson told
  3. Santiago: Enrile, Lacson, Reyes plotting massive psywar operation
  4. Slain officer’s ‘diagram’ rocks PNP
  5. Kris Aquino’s ex- close in security named new Air Force chief
  6. Ex-COA chief nabbed for plunder
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Obama: US will defend Japan vs China
  9. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  10. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  5. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  6. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  7. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  10. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  1. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  2. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  3. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  10. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano


  • Seabed search for missing Malaysian jet to widen
  • Lacson rejects calls to name ‘pork’ execs
  • Obama due in Seoul as North Korea nuclear test fears grow
  • Hold departure order out vs Corona, Singson
  • Malaysia to release MH370 report–PM
  • Sports

  • Michael Phelps loses to Lochte in comeback meet
  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Corruption not invincible after all
  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos second-shortest in Southeast Asia
  • China welcomes PH apology
  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • Marketplace