Latest Stories

Ex-generals beat plunder raps

Ombudsman cites lack of evidence


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.


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.

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 , Carlos Garcia , George Rabusa , Office of the Ombudsman , Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales , 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. 12 senators on Napoles ‘pork’ list, says Lacson
  2. Save the queen? Aide takes fall for Enrile, Gigi Reyes
  3. Palace prepared to charge its allies
  4. Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  5. Napoles turnaround alarms whistle-blowers
  6. What Went Before: Malacañang allies alleged involvement in pork scam
  7. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  8. Timeline: Napoles tell-all
  9. HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
  10. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  3. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  4. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  7. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  8. Reckless driver endangered lives of Aquino, entourage–report
  9. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  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. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima


  • 4.6-magnitude quake hits Surigao del Norte
  • Camilla’s brother dies of NYC head injury
  • Nepal officials go to Everest to try to end crisis
  • Escudero ready to defend self should name appear in Napoles’ list
  • Obama calls for peaceful end to island dispute
  • Sports

  • Promoters Dela Hoya, Arum in talks for Pacquiao-Alvarez—report
  • Benzema guides Madrid to 1-0 win over Bayern
  • Suns’ Goran Dragic win NBA’s Most Improved Player award
  • Heat go up 2-0, hold off Bobcats 101-97
  • Ronaldo shakes off injury fears to play Bayern
  • Lifestyle

  • This woman ate what?
  • Photos explore dynamics of youths’ sexual identity
  • 12th Philippine Food Expo set at the World Trade Center
  • No tourist draw, Malang the croc will remain wild
  • The best flavors of summer in one bite, and more
  • Entertainment

  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • Sony developing live-action Barbie comedy
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Return of ‘Ibong Adarna’
  • Practical Phytos plans his future
  • Business

  • Facebook profits triple as mobile soars
  • Insular Honors Sales Performers at Testimonial Rites
  • Apple increases stock buyback, will split stock
  • Cost-recovery provisions for affected gencos urged
  • This time, BIR goes after florists
  • Technology

  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 24, 2014
  • Talking to Janet
  • Respite
  • Bucket list
  • JPII in 1981: walking a tightrope
  • Global Nation

  • PH-HK relations repaired, but families of victims still being courted
  • Filipinos in Middle East urged to get clearance before returning
  • PH seeks ‘clearer assurance’ from US
  • China and rivals sign naval pact to ease maritime tensions
  • What Went Before: Manila bus hostage crisis
  • Marketplace