AFP logistics unit denies fuel fund misuse
MANILA, Philippines—The main logistics office of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) has disputed reports that some P400 million were spent for the fuel requirements of various military units in the first quarter this year.
A military spokesperson said the Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for logistics (J4) spent only P86 million for the oil and lubricant needs of the AFP general headquarters and the seven area commands from January to March this year.
The J4 pointed out the amount is even below the average P108 million spent quarterly on the military’s gas expenses despite the ever increasing oil prices the past few months.
Last week, Commodore Teddy Pan was relieved as chief military logistics officer while under investigation for the questionable oil expenses by his office, the J4, for the first quarter of the year.
The internal probe was prompted by news reports that Pan’s office had spent some P400 million on oil and lubricants for the AFP general headquarters and the AFP wide service support (which refers to the seven area commands) even though the quarterly quota is only about P150 million.
This triggered suspicions that part of the gas allowances may have been illegally converted for other use, based on the expose of former military budget officer ex-Lt. Col. George Rabusa on the systematic diversion of military funds for the personal slush fund of former AFP top officials and budget officers.
Pan was temporarily replaced by Col. Julius Guillermo as acting AFP Deputy Chief of Staff for logistics.
“(Guillermo) was telling me they have reviewed the records. It’s on the record that the AFP general headquarters and the AFP wide service support consumed only P86 million of POL (petroleum oil lubricants) which is so far from the P400 million they claim was spent,” AFP spokesman Commodore Miguel Rodriguez said.
He also pointed out the quarterly gas allowance quota is P108 million and not P150 million.
But Rodriguez said the investigation being conducted by the military Judge Advocate General, Internal Auditor and Provost Marshal General is not yet over.
“It’s not focused on Commodore Pan. It’s focused on the (logistics management) processes,” he said.
The investigation was first handled by Vice Admiral Mario Catacutan, the AFP Inspector General, who is Pan’s classmate at the Philippine Military Academy (Class 1977) and Pan’s predecessor at J4.