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Coast Guard chief set to retire while under suspension

/ 02:09 AM November 22, 2012

President Benigno Aquino III and Philippine Coast Guard Vice Admiral Edmund Tan (left) in a photo taken during the observation of Holy Week this year. Tan is suspended by the Sandiganbayan for a graft case. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

Beleaguered Coast Guard chief Vice Admiral Edmund Tan will retire on Dec. 16 while serving a 90-day preventive suspension ordered by the Sandiganbayan in connection with a 2009 graft case filed against him when he was still head of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Visayas Area Command.

In a statement, the PCG on Wednesday quoted Tan as saying he still has strong faith in the country’s justice system although in a democracy “due process really takes time.”

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“Our battles are not only in the field, but also in the courts of law, where I learned that the attributes of courage under fire and patience under adversity are as useful in a court room as they are in an armed conflict. We all have to fight our own battles, especially as we espouse the integrity of a serviceman as we thread the narrow path of a public servant,” he also said.

Tan, appointed on Jan. 24 as the PCG’s 24th commandant by President Aquino, has denied the accusations of wrongdoing.

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The graft case stemmed from a complaint filed in 2009 by Reynaldo Chua Jr., who accused Tan of causing him undue injury by detaining his shipment of iron ore, which resulted in the businessman’s having to pay some P500,000 in docking penalties at the Pagadian City port.

Tan was at the time chief of the PCG Visayas Area Command. He said he detained the ship LCT Kapitan, which was transporting Chua’s iron ore cargo on the basis of an injunction order supposedly issued by a court in Iligan City.

The Ombudsman said Tan had presented a fictitious temporary restraining order issued against the iron ore cargo.”

But in his remarks at the PMA event, Tan explained there was basis for the PCG to hold the ship.

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TAGS: Coast Guard, Edmund Tan, Government Service, Graft and Corruption, retirement
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