Ex-generals beat plunder raps

Ombudsman cites lack of evidence

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The Office of the Ombudsman has recommended the dismissal of plunder charges against three former Armed Forces chiefs, 14 other top-ranking military officials and five civilians who worked for the military, citing the lack of evidence from the complainant, retired Col. George Rabusa.

In the decision, signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on July 2, 2012, but released only last April 4, the Ombudsman said that the allegations of Rabusa—who made his explosive revelations in several appearances at the Senate in 2011—of misappropriated funds were “unproven” and the result of “faulty and unreasonable computation.”

The Ombudsman’s decision gives retired Maj. Gen. Carlos Garcia another chance to sidestep the plunder charges that have been filed against him for allegedly amassing millions of pesos in unexplained wealth while serving as the military comptroller in the early 2000s.

Plea bargain upheld

The Sandiganbayan antigraft court earlier this week upheld the plea bargain that Garcia had entered into with the Office of the Ombudsman.

In dismissing the charges, the six-member Ombudsman panel noted that Rabusa failed to show solid evidence to support  his allegation that retired generals Diomedio Villanueva, Roy Cimatu and Efren Abu received millions of pesos as “pasalubong” and “pabaon” when they assumed office and retired as military chiefs.

Among those that Rabusa had accused at the Senate inquiry into his exposé in 2011 was his superior, another former AFP chief Angelo Reyes, who committed suicide after suffering humiliation from senators, including Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, at the Senate hearings.

Aside from Garcia and the former military chiefs, the Ombudsman also said that there was not enough evidence to charge with plunder the following: retired Maj. Gen. Jacinto Ligot, Maj. Gen. Hilario Atendido, Lt. Gen. Gaudencio Pangilinan, Maj. Gen. Epineto Logico, Capt. Kenneth Paglinawan, Col. Gilbert Gapay, Maj. Emerson Angulo, Maj. Gen. Ernesto Boac, Col. Robert Arevalo, Brig. Gen. Benito de Leon, Col. Cirilo Tomas Donato, Col. Roy Devesa, and Lt. Col. Ernesto Paranis.

No probable cause

The Ombudsman also did not find any probable cause against the Commission on Audit resident auditor, Divina Cabrera, and four other civilian employees of the AFP—Arturo Besana, Crisanto Gabriel, Manuel Warren and Generoso del Castillo.

Rabusa alleged that when he was the AFP budget officer, he gave Ligot a total of P360 million in a span of 15 months.

But according to the Ombudsman, “except bare allegations, Rabusa did not present competent evidence to show Ligot’s receipt of the source of the funds and how it was converted. In simple terms, the amount was a result of unproven allegations and faulty and unreasonable computation.”

In almost all the other allegations against the other respondents, the Ombudsman repeatedly said that Rabusa “did not present competent evidence…”

Rabusa claimed that from 1994 to 2002, funds allocated to the AFP were used “other than for the purpose intended” and were also allegedly pocketed by the respondents.

‘Conversion’

This was done through the military practice of “conversion,” he said.

Rabusa’s lawyer, Noel Malaya, said he was dismayed by the Ombudsman resolution.

“They said we didn’t have any evidence. I am entitled to file a motion for reconsideration but if the initial complaint was already denied because they said we don’t have any evidence, then what evidence should we show when we file our MR (motion for reconsideration)?” Malaya said in a phone interview.

“If there was no paper trail, then where did the money come from? From Rabusa’s own pocket? When I read the resolution, I really cannot understand why the complaint was dismissed,” he said.

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  • bayankopdi

    KUNG GANYAN DIN TULOY TULOY ANG GAWING PAGNANAKAW NG MGA GENERALS KASI ALAM NILA MAKAKALUSOT DIN PALA KAHIT DAANG DAANG MILYON ANG NINANAKAW…HINDI NA BA SAPAT NA IBEDENSYA YUNG BANK ACCOUNTS, DOLLARS ACCOUNTS, PROPERTIES NOT COMMENSURATE TO THEIR INCOME….ANO BA YAN…MAGKANO BA SWELDO NG MGA GENERAL…DI BA SILA NAGPAPAARAL NG MGA ANAK, DI BA SILA NAGRERENT O KAYA KUNG MAY BAHAY DI BA SILA NAGMEMAINTAIN NG TUBIG KATULONG, DRIVER, COCHE,, KURIENTE, BILLS ETC. …YUNG IBA PA DYAN MAY MGA BISYO ALAK, BABAE, SUGAL KABIT SA APARTMENT ETC…ANO BA YAN…

    • aldren85

      You try this approach with the corrupt’s lawyers and they will tell you that the case is not one of “ill-gotten wealth”. Look at Gen. Garcia’s case, the AFP controller with a plea bargain. Na dismiss ang cases nya because it was not proven (again with documentary evidence) that the money came from AFP. No evidence daw na tinanggap ng mga accused. Aba, yung Ombudsman naghahanap ata ng mga resido at acknowledgment receipts or signed vouchers.

  • farmerpo

    As long as we are shackled by the letter of the law, and continue to marginalize the spirit of the law, we are doomed to live with lawlessness, perpetrated by the very people who are suppose to be our lawyers. The total disregard for the spirit of the law is the embedded ‘causa franca ‘ or the granddaddy of corruption. Ang nakaw ay nakaw maski ano pa ang tawag. Lawyers confuse to enlighten, eat that and understand why corrupt people in government proliferate like rats. If you steal enough to afford a share for the lawyers, you’re free, else, peel potatoes na lang. Wag magnakaw ng konti.

  • $19543087

    Unbelievable! Where is the money now? What happened to it? Col. Rabusa you need to review your paperworks & employ competent individuals who can really dig up those evidence. Seek the help of COA Commissioner Heide Mendoza & form a task force composed of brilliant & incorruptible lawyers & accountants. The government must provide a budget for the operation of this task force. We will not allow under any circumstances those guilty military personnel to escape. Nooo waaaay! You hear me???

    • gryzyxwoz

      Col. Rabusa should be brought to task for what happened. There’s something wrong somewhere…

  • watsupdoc

    These are cases that are suppose to be an open and shut case of plunder for Gen. Garcia and jail terms for the other generals but it’s either the stupidity of the accuser who does not do his homework well before going to court or simply crime does pay in the Philippines.

  • elgeepee

    YAN ANG DAHILAN KAYA MARAMI MAGNANAKAW, THE APPRECIATION OF THE LAW ITSELF BY THOSE PEOPLE WHO INVESTIGATE.

  • joe__bloggs

    Someone once said:
    We can go on as we have been going and continue DOWN, or we can stop and with a decisive act of will say : ENOUGH”

    Will we ever say ENOUGH again?

  • MANGLUCIO

    Tuloy-tuloy ang ligaya ng mga magnanakaw na ito sa gobyerno. How could this happened just because the evidence is weak? Why not check the lifestyles of these armed forces criminals, where they live and the cars they’ve in their garages..PWEHH!!!

  • NAGMAMARUNONG

    BACK TO SQUARE ONE! HAPPY DAYS ARE HERE AGAIN!
    PNOY, CAN’T HAVE IT ALL. KAHIT ANONG KLASENG PAGLILINIS, TALAGANG MAY NAIIWANG MANTSA.

  • tra6Gpeche

    I trust Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. I would surmise that the prosecution and the complainant were not prepared to show all the needed evidences and documents to win their case. Too bad for the Filipino people. The crook outsmarted the good people.

  • speaksoftlylove

    Lahat ng comments inis sa decision pero wala kang makitang tumira o bumatikos kay Morales kahit isa. Ikumpara mo sa Plea Bargaining Agreement na dahilan sa pagkatanggal kay former Ombudsman Gutierrez pero pinagtibay na ng Sandiganbayan, hanggang ngayon galit pa rin ang mga yellowvultures kay Gutierrez at aapeal pa nga raw ang PNoy sa SC.

    The funny thing is that one accused for both cases is Garcia. Wala kayong reklamo kay Morales? Di lang kayo mga unggoy, mga orangutang pa sa katangahan.

  • jaciagar

    This reminds me of several cases, like hold-ups, drug busts,etc. when during the raids and apprehensions, pictures were shown on the newspapers with evidences of the crimes. Then after a couple of years, we read that the cases were dropped due to lack of evidence. Even the cases against the Marcoses are going nowhere. Once there were the “Rolex Generals”, now there are the “Euro Generals”. This is just a “Game of the Generals”. Well, Money makes the world go round. WTF!

  • $14334231

    money talks….bu11sh!t walks….there…given the humungous amount of money these people gained, what is 20 million pesos from each individual given to the panel….now, they’re all free like the birds on the trees…….tuloy ang ligaya…..hay buhay…..

  • 2rey3

    Sad…………Di ba dapat ang Ombudsman ay parang fiscal at di Sandiganbayan??? It should have investigated and gathered evidence to strengthen the case against these generals and should have not relied solely on Col. Robusa. The defendants are being accused by the Republic of the Philippines pero saan ba panig ang Ombudsman???

    • dodong1

      saan pa di sa mga heneral na magnanakaw….

  • $20926843

    This latest brouhaha from this SOB morales is a manifestation that at last she has exercised her legal acumen to the letter of the law perhaps stinged by the series of reversals she suffered at the courts by kowtowing to the wishes and caprices of her benefactor in malacanang-the sitting inutile and autistic president of the country.

  • wakats

    The Ombudsman based its ruling on the information filed by the DOJ de lima and her bright boys on Jan. 5, 2012.

    The generals may have beaten the plunder raps but the other lesser and bailable cases such as unexplained wealth, tax frauds, etc., are still up in the air.

    The late Gen. Angelo Reyes, the valiant officer and a gentleman, has vindicated himself……

  • firmelilia_12LAF

    They still will have to face Divine Justice, not to worry.

  • Magsasaka

    panalo na naman ang sindikatong nagpapatakbo sa gobyerno, ang sindikatong binubuo ng mga taga phil magnanakaw association

  • matalino matalino

    It is possible na binayaran lang ni convicted plunderer and bloodthirsty murderer Erap Estrada si Col. Rabusa to create the scandal or to harass the military officials na nagtraydor sa kaniya during EDSA 2 o kaya bobo ang mga abogado ni Col. Rabusa. (Is it possible na binayaran din ang decision ng mga Ombudsman Officials? Very unlikely but it is possible.)

  • jack_bagbaga2011

    patay kang bata ka rabusa, ikaw lang ang umamin sa senate hearing noon na may ginawa kang kalokohan

  • kontra_boohaya

    Lifestyle check should be a prerequisite for promotion to a field grade officer (MAJ in army, air force and marines, lt commander for navy and coast guard and superintendent for police, firemen and jail guards) done by a composite team from COA, Ombudsman, BIR (any other agencies are manned by mista mista. Those slick ones beat raps for plunder but can they escape Ms. Henares of BIR? But then again she is into shooting and most of the firing ranges are full of mista mistas. I’m sure those fresh grads are busy learning the patterns of the MODUS!

  • koaks2

    lusot na naman sila

  • koolkid_inthehouse

    Competent evidence or competent ombudsman is required?
    needs overhaul too.

  • HarryK

    The problem with whistle-blowers like Rabusa, Lozada, etc. is that they tend to tell half-truths and concealed evidence detrimental to the honest image that they are trying to project to the public.

  • tonygadoy

    BWISIT. ..Yan ba ang TUWID NA DAAN?

  • http://www.facebook.com/eros.kaw Eros Kaw

    Rabusa should now present evidence to the public or be sued for maligning so many people. he slandered the entire profession of arms.

  • Maldi2

    Truth will set us free! All these cases on our Military generals are made-up to embarass then GMA and FG. Now the court junked it all for lack of evidence. The damage been done, feasted by media and then opposition people, which most them are now in the government. That’s political life!

  • Pio Gante

    there you go, those cases drops like a log. if rabusa’s statements weren’t enough, why was he given immunity from prosecution? eh di wala nang hahabulin ngayon.

    swerte naman ng mga nasasakdal at talagang napaka-engot ng mga nagsasakdal.

  • ApoNiLolo

    As budget officer, it’s Rabusa’s job to keep tab of all the disbursement he gave to these generals. If his intent was to come clean, he should have secretly noted down dates, copies of receipts and recording of verbal deals of transactions. Sayang, failing to show evidence to pin them shows the incompetency of this colonel and this might backfire. When it comes to “whistle-blowing”, the burden of proof lies with the accuser and not with the accused.

  • divictes

    Dear C-in-C, I have one unsolicited advice, let’s abolish AFP and replace it with a private AFP. Hindi lang po mawawala ang corruption, ma-momodernize pa bigla. Kasi yung mga private armies dito sa amin, ang gagara ng mga armas. he he he

    • Mamang Pulis

      ahhh–sa marawi daghan na—

      mga bushmaster na maranaw made!

      mga P90; Tavor…walang sinabi ang kapulisan ho ho ho

      :D

  • AllinLawisFair

    Absolution en masse´?

    What is this? The mere fact hat Garcia’s wife and sons were caught with hundreds of thousands of US dollars in their persons and their being sentenced in US courts are proof enough that he stole, plundered.

    The documented properties in his and Ligot’s and their relatives’ names are indisputable evidence of thievery of government money.

    • gryzyxwoz

      Precisely!

  • speedstream2

    On either side of the fence, it appears that it pays to do one’s homework, especially when millions are on the line. As usual, though, the law-abiding taxpayers continue to get it in the neck, with no relief in sight.

    • gryzyxwoz

      Spot on!

    • dodong1

      did you mean get it in the A$$$??

  • UrHONOR

    ANG bagal-bagal nang gumalaw ng gulong ng katarungan….na fla-flat tiire pa!

    Kaya hindi masisisi ang mga nawawalan ng pag-asa at tiwala sa TNL na pagpapaganap ng BATAS na yan dahil kahit kitang-kita na ng sambayanan ang mantika sa nguso ng mga lumamon sa LECHON ng bayan, e, MUKHANG binibigyan pa ng pamunas ng kung sinupaman yan para mawala ang mantika sa bunganga. Disappointing, disheartening, and depressing to say the least. Kung alam lamang ni Reyes ang magiging regla ng pagpapatakbo ng batas, di sana ay buhay pa siya ngayon.

    GARCIA at LIGOT wala o kulang ang ebidensya? Ano yong mga na-ulat na nahulihan ng iligal na dami ng dolyar sa US Cutoms yong pamilya ni Garcia? Yong mga nabalitang mga sangdamukal na assets na hundreds of millions ni Ligot…saan nanggaling yon? Hindi pa ba sapat ng pagpapatunay ang mga bagay na yon? O baka naman mali ang mga nabalita sa mga pahayagan tungkol sa magigiting na PMA graduweyts na ito. Ganun ba talaga yon, Gringo Honasan?

  • AlexanderAmproz

    What kind of blackmail did the Ombudsman got ?

    An Palparan best remembrances letter ?

  • http://twitter.com/sanjuro3410 butch ignacio

    yan ang hirap masyadong atat magsiwalat sa senate investigation committee tapos pag dating sa korte wala naman pala ebidensya puro allegation or alleged. pagasa na lang makasuhan ng tax evasion.

  • doublecross

    lutong makaw na eto, naghirap sila para mailabas ang baho sa AFP, ngayon dismissed!
    shocking at nakakagulat na eto, paano na kaya ang future generations natin kung puro ganito ang nagyayari?

  • doublecross

    makibaka tayo sa dapat gawain ng tamant solusyon at itayo ang AFP para sa tamang landas at iwaksi ang corruption sa AFP.

  • Lightning_seed

    Sino ba nag appoint kay conchita..di ba si Abnoy..tayo na sa DAANG MATUWID

  • nano

    Warning to future Whistle Blower , prepare every evidence you can have before exposing corruption or any skandal ,be sure that your evidence can build strong case. Anyway thanks to all who risk their life to expose corruption, salute to you.

    In this case the corrupt will continue their usual habit . How many Billions or Trillions of pesos in our country just blown by the wind .

    • dodong1

      start counting…let me know when you find out exactly how much…he he he he

  • AlexanderAmproz

    My azz is chicken…

  • manual47

    These crooks generals and military officials must be laughing all the way to the bank. Well, that’s justice in the Philippines. Hurray to the generals……poor Filipinos, always get the end of the stick.

  • gryzyxwoz

    Another outrageous miscarriage of justice! This is one instance the B.I.R. should come in handy… calling the B.I.R.

  • sigena

    mahilig kasi sa zchismis ang pnoy govt.

  • richard ortega

    wow pwede pala magnakaw at isuli na lang ang kalahati….

    • dodong1

      only in the Philippines my frend

  • patawad

    Langya, kung ganyan lang pala, eh bakit nagpakamatay si Angelo Reyes? Di ba kasi isip niya wala siyang lusot. Di niya alam pwedeng pwede si Morales sa tamang kwenta.

    • dodong1

      mali ang akala nya..kung alam lang nya di sana hindi na nya pinasabog ang bungo nya..

  • dodong1

    Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales WALANG SILBI ITONG PUTANGUNA NA HUDASGADO NA TO…KANDATUTAK NA ANG EBIDENSYA LAYA PA RIN ANG MGA MAGNANAKAW ANG MASAKLAP PATI PERA NINAKAW O NAKULIMBAT HINDI NA NAIBALIK SA TAO…TANGGALIN SI OBUDSWOMAN CACOONCHABA CARP- MORALES…

  • Renato_SUPOT_Pacifico

    STEALING IS MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES !
    especially if it amounts to hundreds of millions

    Philippines=Nation of Thieves & Idiots

    Our government actually encourages plunder, lahat ng nagnakaw ng limpak limpak sa bayan walang isang naparusahan in fact some of them are still running in the coming elections.

  • bisdakis

    Daang Matuwid! heheheheheheheeh

  • barako22

    mag resign ka na lang morales …………

  • suburbanmother

    It’s ridiculous! What kind of justice do we have here in the Phil? How much more evidence do they need? Are you kidding me? These generals amassed all kinds of unexplained wealth yet there is not enough evidence to convict them? Only in the Phil… Sad….

  • A. H. Forrester

    Ex-generals beat plunder raps. But of course they did ! How can any case ever be won when every one of the players is corrupt !

  • boybakal

    Good….justice still prevails.
    Rabusa should be charged for malicious imputation of crimes.

  • Guest

    Result: It is obvious now. All the money that were given by Rabusa (to them) came from Rabusa’s pocket.

  • Akoaykanoy

    Always lack/insufficient evidence ang reason ng mga ito why did they file the case in the first place magpapatayo naman ng mga HAYBOL sa US ang mga ito.

  • wawa2172

    Now it can be told, Gen. Reyes did not waste his life and honor to him is more important to him than being humiliated. Col. Rabusa was use by the opposition lead by Jinggoy and Trillianes in embarrassing the AFP with regards to pabaon issue. Pinalaki lang nang mga nasa senado ang issue. Now the ombudsman has spoken that their is no solid evidence at puro lang paratang ang ginawa ni Rabusa who himself admitted that he partake on his collection of pabaon from various AFP savings. Rabusa now have more explaining to do and that he is a false witness and accuser. I am not saying that the military officials are clean because no one is, especially those who are now sitting in the senate. Tiyak na mga anomalya din sila. But the quality of evidences and facts should be diligently be determined dahil sa maraming buhay ang masisira sa mga maling paratang. Again, evidences must be solid that could convict the culprit beyond reasonable doubts at hindi lang yung galing sa little lady daw. By the way, yung nagbigay nang evidence na si little lady sa Corona case ay di pa nakikilala at si Umali na nag prisinta nang fake na ebedensiya ay di man lang nakasuhan? A case of double standard huh.

  • siegfeil

    Yan ang supreme court natin… pera pera lang , acquitted because of lack of evidence????

  • AlexanderAmproz

    Marcos, Erap, Ampatuan’s, Palparan, GMA and al are also innocents.
    If I have well understood, to be innocent should kill and steal as much as you can.

  • pedro Bato

    Kung mahina ang ebidensya sa mga magnanakaw na heneral na ito dahil malinis ang pagkaka-nakaw ng milyon milyon, pwede namang madale rin ang mga ito sa UNEXPLAINED WEALTH ! Natitiyak ko, may mala-palasyong mga bahay, magagarang kotse at panay ang biahe sa abroad ng mga asawa nito, at may mga lupa at farmland sa mga probinsya nila ang mga heneral na ito at doon nagyayabang ng yaman nila. . .

  • aldren85

    What a legal system we have! Why do our system always require documentary evidence in cases of corruption and “lagayan”? Do you think these corrupt people would leave a trail like cancelled checks, acknowledgment receipts, official receipts, vouchers, written communications, videos, pictures, and other documentary pieces of evidence? Why can not the testimony of an “insider” like Col. Rabusa suffice? Kaya palagi na lang ang hamon ng mga corrupt” PROVE IT! I read that the group of Sister Mananzan had to photocopy tons of paper for evidence and these were not enough. Ibang klaseng paper yata ang gumana.

  • mangpepe

    NAGKALAGAYAN NA IYAN SA DAMI BA NAMAN PERA PWE

  • Mamang Pulis

    as usual–they can hire the best legal minds, they have accumulated so much wealth plus the fact they can buy / intimidate / threaten –worst make people disappear.

    ano na yun daang matuwid?

    ano ka na simeon–init na inti ka kay at glue, fat boy mile at corona–yun mga AFP mo na corrupt hindi o madale? ano ka na mar boi bauang roxas–puro sound bite?

    yun mga nasasabak sa digmaan sa MILF–pina courtmartial mo?

    wala kayo pinag ka iba sa dati.

    wala yan daan matuwid mo–propaganda lang yan

    tuloy pa rin ang ligaya ng mga tiwali—

  • randyaltarejos

    That’s what we call due process in the administration of justice. But Malaya can still elevate his case to the higher courts, if he wants to.

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