Tuesday, May 31, 2005

NR0531:Corruption in the AFP, GSIS

Mula sa Tanggapan ni Anakpawis Rep. Crispin Beltran
News Release May 31, 2005
House of Representatives, South Wing Rm 602
931-6615 Ina Alleco R. Silverio,Chief of Staff
Email: paggawa@edsamail.com.ph, anakpawis2003@yahoo.com
Cellphone number 09213907362
Visit geocities.com/ap_news

If members of the First Family alleged to earn money from jueteng, PGMA said to make GSIS and other state-run funds her milking cow - Rep. Beltran

Anakpawis Representative Crispin Beltran today said that the findings of the Social Weather Stations (SWS) that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) were the most corrupt government agencies in the country were not surprising.

"This is an open secret, and it's a tremendous outrage that instead of addressing the corruption in these agencies, President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo coddles the top officials and executives and continues to give them the benefit of the doubt," he said. "GSIS president and General Manager Winston Garcia and his mismanagement and abuse of his position and GSIS funds have long been the subject of investigations, but President Arroyo insists on retaining him," he said. "This alone exposes the truth about the President's sincerity in wiping out corruption."

The veteran labor leader said that the findings of foreign think tanks that the Philippines is the 2nd most corrupt country in Asia did not hit the mark. "The Philippines is probably the most corrupt. It's only here that one can hear the president's own cabinet members calling for the legalization of an illegal numbers game, and the officials of the Armed Forces build multi-million rest houses to keep the troops happy," he said.

Beltran said that today marks the 31st anniversary of the GSIS, and the way Pres. Arroyo lauds Garcia was enough to make one's stomach turn. "Winston Garcia is probably Pres. Arroyo's favorite official. If the First Gentleman Mike Arroyo is alleged to get his illegal wealth from jueteng protection money, President Arroyo allegedly gets funds for her self-promoting projects from siphoned and redirected GSIS funds,' he said.

"As for the AFP, nothing has come out of the investigations regarding another corrupt Garcia, former AFP comptroller Carlos Garcia; and the scams involving infrastructure projects of the AFP continue to be exposed. The AFP top brass remain warm and comfortable in their seats, while their ban accounts fatten," he said.

In the meantime, Beltran said that the allegations that certain former and incumbent members of Congress were 'beneficiaries' of jueteng money paled in shock value to the accusations against First Gentleman Mike Arroyo.

Beltran hails from Bacacay, Albay, and he says that jueteng is widespread there. "Whether the allegations that certain legislators from the said province accept jueteng money are true or not, its up to the constituents to decide; but who will determine the guilt or innocence of the First Gentleman?"

"Mike Arroyo is not a public official, but his ties to the highest official of the land makes him very influential and even powerful. For an ordinary jueteng cobrador/operator such as Wilfredo Cimanis Mayor to make such a forceful accusation against the First Gentleman and presidential son Rep. Mikey Arroyo is no short an act of courage. For the sake of exposing the truth and bringing corrupt officials to justice, we can only hope that Mayor's testimony is credible, and that other operators like him would come forward and give their testimony," he said. #

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