AFP determined to weed out misfits among ranks

MANILA The court martial and subsequent conviction of a military officer found guilty of violating three Articles of War stemming from malversation of public funds amounting to PHP15,067,142.69 shows the desire of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) to curb misfits from its ranks.

This was stated by military spokesperson Col. Edgard Arevalo when sought for a comment on the case of Philippine Military Academy (PMA) comptroller Lt. Col. Hector MaraAa whose dismissal order was signed by President Rodrigo Duterte Tuesday.

"This shows the manifest desire and resolve of the AFP leadership to cleanse our ranks from misfits in the service," he added Wednesday.

MaraAa was designated as the treasurer of the Cadet Corps of the AFP from 2006 to 2012 where he was later found to have malversed the above-mentioned sum after an internal audit.

Investigation revealed that the dismissed officer loaned the money to different persons.

"Upon investigation by the Command Provost Marshall of the Philippine Military Academy, it was confirmed there was indeed missing amount from the CCAFP fund of PHP15,067,142.69. It was also uncovered that he lent it to different private individuals," Arevalo said.

Eventually, MaraAa was subjected to court martial proceedings for three violations of the Articles of War specifically Article of War 95 (Fraud versus the Government), Article of War 96 (Conduct unbecoming an Officer and a Gentleman) and Article of War 97 (Conduct Prejudicial to Good Order and Military Discipline).

The above-mentioned officer was found guilty and sentenced to "six years and one day to 10 years imprisonment", Arevalo said.

"He was also separated from the military service, all his benefits will be forfeited, accruing or accrued, will be all forfeited and finally he will be fined with the amount of PHP15,067,142.69 amount he was charged of malversing," the AFP spokesperson said. (PNA)

Source: Philippine News Agency