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Navy to Balikatan whistle-blower: Present self and be reinstated

- James Mananghaya -

MANILA, Philippines - The military has offered embattled Navy officer Nancy Gadian the chance to be reinstated in the service but the lieutenant senior grade should present herself and explain her allegations of misuse of funds in the 2007 RP-US Balikatan joint military exercises.

Navy chief Vice Adm. Ferdinand Golez said Gadian has to appear before a panel and also explain why she went AWOL (absent without official leave) after making the allegations.

Golez warned Gadian that she stands to lose all her separation benefits if she continues to refuse to appear and substantiate her accusations.

Gadian earlier accused her superiors, particularly retired Lt. Gen. Eugenio Cedo, of pocketing part of the P46 million allotted for the joint military exercises. Cedo has since denied Gadian’s claims.

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

Of the P46-million fund, only P2.3 million was released to Filipino soldiers, according to Gadian.

The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said Gadian went AWOL and has since been dropped from the rolls for failing to report back to duty after her 30-day vacation lapsed last April 21.

Gadian maintained she had resigned but the AFP said she would have to leave the service under the prescribed military procedure.

Gadian was later charged with insubordination and desertion before the Navy’s Summary Efficiency Board (ESB).

Golez said the Navy decided to dismiss Gadian from the service for her failure to report despite notices for her to appear and face the charges that were filed against her.

“It has been more than 90 days since she went AWOL so she is dropped from the roster, she is not part of us anymore,” Golez said.

Golez said the military has expressed doubts on Gadian’s sincerity to pursue the case against officials she had implicated in the Balikatan fund mess.

“A lot of doors for pursuing the case have opened up for her but she did not avail of any, so we are really doubting her intentions and her credibility, even if she claims to have the evidence against those she has accused,” Golez said.

The Court of Appeals (CA) has granted Gadian’s petition for writ of amparo seeking her protection and security.

The CA also directed Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro to take Gadian into custody and assure her appearance before the investigating panel.

But Gadian still refused to comply with the CA order, appealing for an amendment of the order to allow other people to have her under their protective custody. The Navy officer is still under the protection of a group of nuns and priests of the Association of Major Religious Superiors.

The investigating panel formed by Teodoro is wrapping up its probe without Gadian’s testimony.

ARMED FORCES OF THE PHILIPPINES

ASSOCIATION OF MAJOR RELIGIOUS SUPERIORS

BALIKATAN

BUT GADIAN

CEDO

COURT OF APPEALS

DEFENSE SECRETARY GILBERT TEODORO

EUGENIO CEDO

FERDINAND GOLEZ

GADIAN

GOLEZ

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