Ex-AFP chief wants whistleblower’s evidence of corruption against him
MANILA, Philippines – Lawyers of retired Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff Roy Cimatu asked the Department of Justice (DoJ) to order the presentation of documents containing whistleblower Colonel George Rabusa’s allegations of corruption against his former bosses.
Cimatu is one of the more than 20 others accused by Rabusa of allegedly dipping their hands into the AFP coffers from 1994-2004.
Following his expose, Rabusa has been accused of fabricating evidence.
In a seven-page motion, Cimatu through lawyer Rowena B. Revilla asked DoJ prosecutors to order the production of “originals of the annexed documents that are non-public records, and second, the certified true copies of the annexed documents that are public records, to be examined and compared with the photocopies.”
Revilla asked that they also be given a reasonable period of not less than 60 days, reckoned from the date of production of the requested documents, to prepare and file their counter-affidavit.
“The intention of the request for the original documents of the annexes of the complaint is to allow the respondent the opportunity to validate their authenticity and compare them with the all of the photocopied annexes in the complaint-affidavit,” the lawyer said.
“It is with a view to fully apprise the respondent of the nature and true extent of the accusations against him so that he may suitably prepare for and undertake his defense. Given the gravity of the accusations against him, respondent is justified to exercise due diligence in verifying that the photocopied annexes are faithful reproduction of the originals”, she added.
Revilla said the annexes formed part of the complaint-affidavit and were supposedly evidence, which the former general as a respondent was guaranteed by law to examine.
“It would seem careless, not to mention oppressive, to require the respondent to labor on his defense against an evidence found only after unnecessary lengths to be non-existing, or worse, mere fabrication as what the annexes appear to be,” the lawyer added.
Revilla said a careful examination of the photocopied documents included in the complaint, “were dubious-looking private documents, consisting of handwritten notes of the complainant, unofficial receipts, etc., which must be clearly validated by the respondent and which can only be done if the originals thereof are examined by him.”
Aside from Cimatu, retired government auditor Arturo Villarina Besana also called on Rabusa to produce the originals of the documents.
“It is imperative for Rabusa and his cohorts to produce the said original complaint for the simple reason that I and the others cannot and should not be asked to answer anything based on documents which maybe fake or even fabricated.”Besana said.
“I would like to know why all of a sudden I am now a respondent,” Besana asked even as he noted that in the amended complaint that there was no single piece of evidence linking him to the alleged crime.
“If there is any document which can show that I have done anything wrong I will face the consequences squarely. But I believe in my heart there is none. Which is why after receiving the amended complaint last July 6, I have taken time to investigate why Rabusa charged me,” Besana said.
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