AFP tops ‘most corrupt’ govt. agencies – survey; ‘Don’t generalize’ – 403rd brigade official

MALAYBALAY CITY – “If there’s corruption in the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) only a few are involved in it and it is not tolerated,” Capt. Eduardo Meclat, Jr., civil military operations chief of the 403rd Brigade said.

“Wag naman sana i-generalize ang buong AFP organization,” (Do not generalize) he added.

Bukidnon News sought the reaction of the brigade’s officials on the inclusion of the AFP as the ‘most corrupt’ government agency in the Philippines.

On its March 2011 Ulat ng Bayan, Pulse Asia said 48.9 percent of Filipinos believe that graft and corruption proliferated in the military.

The survey was conducted at the height of the controversies faced by the AFP arising from the allegations of former military budget officer George Rabusa and former state auditor Heidi Mendoza.

According to the survey, about 60 percent of Filipinos prefer that congressional hearings on alleged corruption in the military must continue.

Among those who were accused of alleged involvement in corruption in the military were former AFP chief Angelo Reyes, Retired Major General Garcia, Retired Lt. General Jacinto Ligot, a former commander of the 403rd brigade and some former AFP chiefs of staff. Reyes took his life because of the controversy.
Meclat said through text on March 31 that the probe involving high ranking military officers happened 10 years ago. He denied it has affected them at all.

“…At first hand we knew it happened 10 years ago. Many changes have happened in the AFP. We are more professional now,” he added.

He argued that the military organization does not tolerate corruption. “It is just in the person (holding the position), “Meclat said.

He said they are transparent in their programs in the brigade.

Next to the AFP as the most corrupt agency were the Philippine National Police (PNP) with 26.6 percent and the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) at 18.2 percent.

On the other hand, the Departments of Social Welfare and Development, Health and Education were identified as the “least corrupt government agencies”.

Pulse Asia conducted the survey from February 24 to March 6, 2011, using face-to-face interviews in 1,200 adult respondents. (Contributed by Mel B. Madera)