>News Update Philippine president backs military fund mess probes

>Baguio City (Philippine Daily Inquirer/ANN) – Philippine President Benigno Aquino III said he was supporting the investigations into the alleged corruption within the military.

“Buo and suporta ko sa mga imbestigasyon at tiwala ako na kasangga natin ang iba’t ibang klase na kasama natin ngayon [I am fully supporting the investigation and I trust that those conducting the investigation are one with me],” Aquino said in his speech during the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Homecoming ceremonies at the Borromeo Field, Fort del Pilar Saturday.

Aquino cited that all those involved in the controversial plea bargaining agreement between military comptroller Carlos Garcia and the Ombudsman should be held accountable.

Aquino said he felt the low morale of the troops and that what has happened was no joke.

Although he did not name anyone in particular, Aquino criticized some witnesses who evaded questions or did not remember particular incidents being asked him.

“Hindi pa naman ganun katanda para maging ulyanin [I don’t think they’re too old to be forgetful],” Aquino said in his speech. He said the investigation must yield results and those behind the controversies must be made accountable. “Pag may ginawang kalokohan, dapat pagbayaran [One must pay for the anomaly committed],” the commander-in-chief said.

Aquino added that this was part of the government’s mandate to uphold the interest of the people.

Meanwhile, the commander-in-chief also promised to beef up housing projects for the military and police. Aquino said that this year, no less than 20,000 houses would be made available for military and police personnel.

In an interview earlier in the day, retired Brigadier General Edgar Rene Samonte, president of the Philippine Military Academy Alumni Association Inc. (PMAAAI), said he was disappointed about the bickering among the members, saying in Filipino that they all belonged to one institution and should therefore uphold the ideals learned.

He added that the alumni homecoming should allow PMA graduates to renew the core values that they were taught as cadets — courage, integrity and loyalty.

Samonte is a member of the PMA class ’81, the senior host class for this year’s homecoming.

Also present during the homecoming are Defense Secretary Voltaire Gazmin and Armed Forces of the Philippines chief Ricardo David.

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