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DND to sue ousted Veterans Federation of the Philippines chief

Jaime Laude - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Defense (DND) is set to file charges against an ousted president of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP), an official said yesterday.

In a statement, Secretary Delfin Lorenzana said retired colonel Bonifacio de Gracia will be charged with conduct prejudicial to the interest of the veterans, acts contrary to several department orders and insubordination, among others.

Lorenzana said the VFP is a public corporation under the supervision of the DND.

The DND said De Gracia is also being investigated for graft based on complaints filed against him by Reynaldo Ocampo, secretary general of the VFP Sons and Daughters Association, Inc. (VFP-SDAI). 

Ocampo claimed  that under De Gracia’s leadership, the VFP was transformed into a “kamag-anak corporation” for allegedly hiring a number of consultants and staff who are related to the firm’s officials and without civil service eligibility.

Ocampo also alleged that these VFP employees are said to be receiving unauthorized representations and transportation allowance and honoraria per management meeting on top of their salaries, which are way above the rate prescribed under the government salary standardization law.

The statement was issued after DND personnel removed De Gracia from the VFP headquarters in Manila on Thursday.

De Gracia, through his lawyer Romulo Macalintal, said he will file countercharges against those behind his removal as VFP president.

De Gracia, claiming his ouster was illegal because he is the foundation’s duly elected president, tried to block the entry of DND personnel by ordering employees to lock the gates and set up barricades.

He was replaced by former Sandiganbayan justice and “hanging judge” Manuel Pamaran, a World War II veteran, as acting president.

DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

VETERANS FEDERATION OF THE PHILIPPINES

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