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DND to summon Gadian on Balikatan fund mess

- James Mananghaya -

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) will call this week the whistle-blower on the alleged misuse of the 2007 RP-US Balikatan funds following Malacañang’s order to investigate the issue.

Lt. Col. Romeo Brawner, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) spokesman, said Defense Undersecretary Alberto Valenzuela informed him that Navy Lt. Senior Grade Nancy Gadian would be formally called to appear before an investigating body created to look into her allegations.

She claimed that some high-ranking military officials pocketed portions of the P46-million fund for the joint exercise.

Brawner reiterated the AFP’s call for Gadian to formalize her complaint against those she is implicating in the fund mess.

Among the officers included is retired Lt. Gen. Eugenio Cedo, former head of the AFP’s Western Mindanao Command.

Gadian claimed that Cedo received P818,500 and another P100,000 for the military exercises, which did not reach the intended recipients and was not cleared by his office.

She said aside from Cedo, two more officers are allegedly involved in the anomaly.

“They have been summoning Lt. Gadian informally and formally, they have sent emissaries, they have invitations for her to appear before the three-man investigating body formed by Secretary (Gilbert) Teodoro for her to give her side and to present evidence to support her claim,” he said.

In case Gadian appears before the three-man investigating panel, she would be treated not as a suspect, as what she fears, but as a resource person who would shed light on the issue, he said.

“We will separate the investigation from the case she is facing before the efficiency and separation board, where she is the primary suspect. But when it comes to the investigation being done by the Department of National Defense, she is a resource person,” Brawner said.

He added that the DND probe body is bent on pursuing the investigations even if Gadian continues to refuse their invitation to appear at an inquiry.

Aside from Gadian, the DND would also summon officers being implicated in the case.

The US government had earlier expressed concern over allegations of the fund misuse.

Gadian claimed that funds intended for the civil military operations component of the exercise was P4 million, but only P2.3 million was released.

She said the lead planner for the CMO part was also able to withdraw P2.7 million.

Gadian was ordered arrested for desertion and insubordination after she volunteered to provide the Senate with documents to support her claim against Cedo and other officials.

The AFP said Gadian went AWOL (absent without official leave) and has since been dropped from the rolls for failing to report back to duty after her 30-day vacation lapsed last April 21. 

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES

BALIKATAN

CEDO

DEFENSE UNDERSECRETARY ALBERTO VALENZUELA

DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE

EUGENIO CEDO

GADIAN

NAVY LT

ROMEO BRAWNER

SENIOR GRADE NANCY GADIAN

WESTERN MINDANAO COMMAND

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