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Retired soldiers not surprised with exposé on AFP anomalies

>> Monday, February 7, 2011

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Philippines - Retired soldiers in Zamboanga City are not surprised with the alleged anomalous practices within the Armed Forces as divulged by a former military budget officer in a Senate hearing last week.
Retired Army Master Sergeant William Madamba said they have long known about the alleged illegal activities that top military generals are involved in.
"Sanay na ang tenga namin sa ganoong storya ma'am," Madamba said.
"Practice na talaga sa AFP 'yan," Madamba said.
Retired Lt. Col. George Rabusa testified in the Senate about corruption in the military last Thursday, claiming that Armed Forces chiefs get P50 million as “pabaon” (send-off money) when they retire.

"Noon nga everytime na may bagong commander ang Southcom, palagi sila may bagong project. Tignan niyo na lang 'yang grandstand, ilang beses binago-bago 'yan. Diyan kasi sila kumikita sa mga project," Madamba said.
He lamented how top military officials seem to be lying in beds of cash, while ordinary soldiers like him would have to undergo long and tedious process of following up their retirement papers just to claim minimal benefits.
Retired Marine Technical Sergeant Generoso Nebre, meanwhile, said although he did not experience running out of ammunition while in battle, several lives would have been saved had the Armed Forces' leadership given its full support to soldiers in the field.
"At di ka puede mag-complain," Nebre said. "Palaging katwiran ng mga opisyal, hintayin mo na maging opisyal ka para makapag-complain ka."
Madamba said Senator Antonio Trillanes III's allegations that some military officials are selling firearms and ammunition to the enemies of the state is not baseless.
"Sa tinagal-tagal ba naman ng giyera dito sa Mindanao, dapat tapos na kung hindi mismo ang AFP nagbebenta sa kalaban,” he said.
Madamba and Nebre believe it is high time that such irregularities are exposed. "Para matigil na ang ginagawa ng ibang heneral na 'yan."
They hope the present administration will conduct a deeper probe into Rabusa's exposes so that alleged illegal practices within the military will end.

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