Thursday, January 05, 2012

DND budget exec charged with plunder back on the job

MANILA, Philippines - A Department of National Defense (DND) official who went on indefinite leave after he was charged with plunder by former military comptroller George Rabusa has returned to his old post.

Defense Assistant Secretary for Comptrollership Ernesto Boac was seen during the military’s New Year’s call at Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City yesterday. He was with other key officials of the DND.

DND spokesman Peter Paul Galvez confirmed that Boac reported to their office last Monday. “It’s budget season so he (Boac) offered (to return),” Galvez said, referring to the agency’s efforts to prepare its annual outlay.

“He volunteered to go back because he has answered all the allegations. It’s now up to the DOJ (Department of Justice) as to what would be its final (decision). Of course, we will still respect the process,” he added.

Galvez said the DND would need Boac’s knowledge on financial matters. It remains uncertain if he would be reinstated as chairman of the DND Bids and Awards Committee.

When asked about the possible criticisms on Boac’s return, Galvez said, “Those are always in our midst but of course we also need to move on especially with our modernization efforts.”

He stressed that the DND would respect the legal processes and the decision of investigators.

Boac retired from military service on Feb. 15, 2008. His last assignment as military officer was commander of the Army’s 10th Infantry Division.

Rabusa, who earlier claimed that top military officials were given huge cash gifts, tagged more than 20 officers and civilians in the plunder raps he filed before the DOJ.

Rabusa said Boac pocketed more than P330 million when he was budget officer of the then deputy chief of staff for comptrollership. Boac has denied the allegation and volunteered to go on indefinite leave without pay last June so he could answer the charges against him.
By Alexis Romero The Philippine Star Updated January 04, 2012 12:00 AM 

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