Officer fired by Duterte for malversation under
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Lt. Col. Hector Mara?a, fired by President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday for alleged misuse of the P15 million allowances of cadets at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA). was placed under “intense custody” in Camp Aguinaldo since last month.
“Lt. Col Mara?a is now under intense custody, he is here at our maximum security cell in Camp Aguinaldo but he will, pending the processes that we are doing be transferred to the New Bilibid where he will be serving his imprisonment,” said Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP spokesman, Wednesday.
“Since his case was heard, he is already in restricted custody but since now that he is convicted, he is really put in confinement,” he added.
Arevalo said Mara?a was convicted after he was found guilty for violation of three provision of Articles of War.
"Specifically Article of War 95 or fraud vs. the government, Article of War 96, conduct unbecoming an officer and a genleman; and Article of War 97 conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline," he said.
"On July 12, 2018 after several sessions of hearing the General Court Martial promulgated its decision finding accused guilty of charges in said specifications," he added.
Arevalo said Mara?a "meted penalty of imprisonment for six years and one day to ten years."
"He was also separated from the military service. All his benefits will be forfeited. Accruing or accrued will be all forfeited and finally he will be fined with the amount of P15,067,142.69, the amount he was charged of malversing," he said.
Arevalo said Mara?a was charged before the General Court Martial because of malversation of government funds when he served as the treasurer of the Cadet Corps of the Armed Forces of the Philippines Headquarters Tactics Group of the PMA from December 16, 2006 up to December 16, 2012.
Arevalo said Mara?a was reassigned to Philippine Army headquarters on December 2, 2012 but left the PMA without proper turnover of financial and property accountablities.
"He was asked to liquidate and turn over his funds to his successor but failed to do so," he said.
Arevalo said the malversation of funds was discovered after an internal audit.
"On April 11, 2013, an internal audit was conducted by office of the treasurer where it was discovered that amount of P15,067,142.69 was missing," he said.
"Upon investigation by the command provost marshall of the PMA, it was confirmed there was indeed missing amount from the CCAFP fund of P15,067,142.69. It was also uncovered that he lent it to different private individuals," he added.
Arevalo said the imprisonment of Mara?a "shows the manfiset desire and resolve of the AFP leadership to cleanse our ranks from misfits in the service."
He also noted that "the relief for command responsibility of BGen Edwin Leo Torrelavega, the Commander of the AFP Health Services Command (AFPHSC) and Colonel Antonio Punzalan, the Commander of V. Luna Hospital is a testament to the decisiveness on the part of the AFP leadershp on implementing swift but short-term interventions and the institutional measures for middle to long term impact."
Despite the involvement of some military officers on corruption related cases, Arevalo said these are "isolated incidents."
"These do not reflect the vast majority of our commanders and officers in the AFP. These events should transalte to the people the message that your AFP is keen about ensuring that we are, we will and we shall continue to be worthy of the trust of the Filipino people and the Filipino nation," he said.
"That we are not going to tolerate any acts of misdemeanor or any means, methods of corruption. That we will not put to waste the sacrifices, the heroism of our people and our men who fought and died in the field and that we are worthy of the trust that you have imposed on the AFP," he added. Robina Asido/DMS