On its face, the latest story of corruption in the Philippines seems run-of-the-mill. Excerpt from the Philippine Inquirer:
The former comptroller of the Armed Forces of the Philippines has been suspended for six months without pay for alleged unexplained income and for failing to fully declare his net worth.
Major General Carlos Garcia was suspended upon orders from the Ombudsman, which is investigating him for dishonesty, gross misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, Major General Edilberto Adan, Armed Forces spokesman said at a press briefing Monday in military general headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.
The suspension took effect Sept. 28.
“The charges alleged that General Garcia failed to declare several assets in his Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) and that his increase in net worth is disproportionate to his legitimate income” he said.
Garcia was reassigned from comptroller to chief of the Armed Forces plans and programs office last February following a report that his son was held at a US airport for failing to declare 100,000 dollars he was carrying with him.
An investigation found insufficient evidence to charge Garcia but an ombudsman probe then found cause to suspend the general, who now has 10 days to answer the charges.
The ombudsman would then determine if there is probable cause to charge him in a special anti-graft court.
Armed forces spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Lucero told Agence France-Presse that Garcia’s suspension was the first for a general “in contemporary times.”
The twist, according to a source in the Philippines, is that the suspended general isn’t merely suspected of skimming money from his own people’s taxes. He is reportedly suspected of abusing funds from a U.S. anti-terrorism aid package–that is, American taxpayer funding–which was aimed at bolstering the Philippine military’s efforts to combat the Islamist insurgency. According to my source, General Garcia and his apparently Imelda Marcos-like wife may have spent the money on real estate in New York (including a unit at Trump Park Avenue Condo in NYC) and Westerville, Ohio. Will keep an eye on the story.
If they keep this up, the Philippines (a.k.a. T he Islamic Protectorate of the Philippines) will soon overtake France as King of the Axis of Weasels.