(RESUME) January 29, 2007 : Monday
MILITARISM: AFP Modernization Funds Proceedings- Office Supplies and Catering Bills?
In December 1996, Republic Act No. 7898, known as the AFP Modernization Act has been approved by Congress- both Upper and Lower Houses. The law envisioned the upgrading of appropriate technology and equipments for the 21st Century Armed Forces of the Philippines .
Ten years had passed, but very little of what has been dreamt of is acquired. The AFP soldiers are now using helicopters and fixed-wing aircrafts, night vision goggles, bullet proof vests and helmets for protection in their anti-in surgery operations- in their dreams! The scenes of victory in bullet-exchange fights are blurred, well of course, because they just happen in the Filipino soldier’s minds. Imagine the dangers they are facing, the perils they are encountering, the risks, everyday because of lack of these equipments which emerging from only one reason- corruption of allocated funds for AFP Modernization.
Government auditors and budget officials found out that there is a feeble control over AFP funds. And instead spent for acquisition of state-of-the-art tech and equips, huge amount of the budget proceed to purchase of office supplies and catering bills for the activities that had taken place. Does this mean the nation’s protectors are a big bunch of gluttons? And one hell of a flock of suckers for office supplies? No… maybe the soldiers and lower-rank employees are innocent of these charges and they’re just merely the victims. Then who’s to blame? Is there any lawful process that had taken place in AFP Budgeting? Check the unusually large figures used as payment for office supplies and catering services, together with the circumstances of purchasing (which I think are doubtful) in the leaves of newspaper and be the judge.
I myself could not fathom why several millions, about P140M for that matter, spent for Philippines Army, Air Force and General Headquarters office supplies in just a three-year span, 2001-2004! A “thinking” person will definitely wonder why such huge amount of peso burst and disappeared like a bubble. I can imagine the AFP offices with many reams of coupon bonds and whole-sale boxes of printer ink cartridges. And oh! Meetings with delicious and expensive foods. Bowls of caviar are joining the picture in my mind…