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Gadian has until June 15 to appear before DND

- James Mananghaya -

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of National Defense (DND) has given Navy Lt. senior grade Nancy Gadian, the whistle-blower in the alleged misuse of funds intended for the 2007 RP-US Balikatan exercises, until June 15 to appear before the investigating body formed to look into the issue.

Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro Jr. has instructed the panel to immediately finish the investigation on Gadian’s allegations, said Undersecretary Alberto Valenzuela, head of the three-man panel.

“It would be a great help to us if she points to us where and what funds, how much and when. With only her statements to media as the basis, it could be quite difficult and take a long time. That is why the committee considers her presence before us as very important,” Valenzuela said.

The official said they have done “extraordinary” things to get in touch with Gadian and offered her the necessary security once she decides to come out and appear before the DND panel.

“The secretary has offered her protection. I do not see any reason now why she cannot do that,” he said.

Valenzuela said that if Gadian still refuses to appear, they would have to make do with the documents and other evidence they have.

He said that retired Lt. Gen. Eugenio Cedo, former chief of the military’s Western Mindanao Command whom Gadian had accused of pocketing portions of the P46-million fund for the joint exercises, has already presented himself and explained his side before the DND panel.

He added that they would audit all documents that would be forwarded to them by the AFP and have also already enlisted the assistance of the military’s internal audit service.

Valenzuela also noted that Gadian’s affidavit included a portion that said the Balikatan 2007 funds “were duly liquidated and accounted for by the designated fund custodian as evidenced by original receipts which were turned over to Lt. Col. Steve Crespillo.”

He said they would probe the matter thoroughly.

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

Gadian said that Cedo received P818,500 and another P100,000 which did not reach the intended recipients and were not cleared.

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

Gadian also alleged that the intended funds for the Civil Military Operations (CMO) component of the exercise is P4 million but only P2.3 million was released.

She said that the lead event planner for the CMO part was 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.

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.

BALIKATAN

CEDO

CIVIL MILITARY OPERATIONS

DEFENSE SECRETARY GILBERT TEODORO JR.

DEPARTMENT OF NATIONAL DEFENSE

EUGENIO CEDO

GADIAN

NANCY GADIAN

NAVY LT

STEVE CRESPILLO

VALENZUELA

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