Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Trillanes names Reyes as one of Garcia’s ‘principals’

MANILA, Philippines—Senator Antonio Trillanes IV finally named former Armed Forces Chief of Staff Angelo Reyes as one of the “principals” of a former military comptroller, who has been charged with plunder for allegedly amassing P303 million worth of bank accounts and properties.
“He (Reyes) asked me to name names, and I'm naming him as what was told by Colonel (George) Rabusa,” Trillanes told reporters on Tuesday.
“(I'm naming Reyes) as one of the principals behind General Garcia and General (Jacinto) Ligot,” he said, referring to another former military comptroller when Reyes was AFP Chief of Staff from 1999 to 2001.
It was Garcia who took the place of Ligot while Reyes was appointed Defense Secretary in 2001.
When the controversy surrounding the plea bargain agreement that government prosecutor had entered into the plunder case of Garcia, Trillanes claimed that a powerful man was fronting for Garcia when he amassed his alleged ill-gotten wealth.
Reyes immediately denied insinuation that he was the man and even challenged the senator to name names.
He repeated this challenge in a letter to Trillanes dated January 14 and published in a national broadsheet this Tuesday.
“In the interest of truth, justice and fairness, I believe the good senator must now identify who this powerful person is,” said Reyes in the letter.
“And knowing you to be a forthright and just person, I am confident that when you do name this powerful person, you would be able to substantiate the allegation,” Reyes added.
In naming Reyes as one of Garcia's”principals,” however, Trillanes gave no other details, except when asked if it should be Reyes, who should take the place of Garcia.
“Yes,” said Trillanes, responding to questions of reporters.
Trillanes also offered no apologies when told that Reyes was hurt when he told during last week's hearing in the Senate that the former AFP Chief of Staff has no reputation to protect.
While he acknowledged the time honor tradition of the upper class and under class relationship in the Philippine Military Academy, Trillanes said he had to set this aside during the hearing because Reyes was trying to harass Rabusa.
Rabusa had accused Reyes in that hearing of allegedly receiving not less than P50 million send off money when he retired in 2001, aside from the P5 million that he supposedly received a month from the provisions for command-directed activities (PCDA) fund.
Reyes immediately denied Rabusa's allegation.
But Trillanes insisted that Rabusa was a “very credible witness” because he was an “insider.”
“I believe in the coming weeks, we will be uncovering more such corruption committed by these people particularly those senior officers during the time of GMA (former Presidet Gloria Macapaga-Arroyo,” the senator said.

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