2 February 2011
“The recent revelations of Lt. Col. George Rabusa and Heidi Mendoza on the millions of public funds pocketed by military generals further expose the rabid lust of these generals for money from the country’s coffers. They are not only human rights violators and purveyors of state terror, they are also seasoned uniformed robbers who plunder the coffers of the nation in broad daylight.”
Thus said Fr. Dionito Cabillas, secretary general of the Samahan ng Detainees Laban sa Detensyon at Aresto (SELDA), as he expressed indignation over Lt. Col. Rabusa’s accounts during the Senate inquiry which started last week and Heidi Mendoza from the Commission on Audit in the House committee hearing yesterday.
Cabillas urged both the Senate and the Lower House to look into the budget for the Department of National Defense in the past years and its current allocation in the General Appropriations, and heed the call of the people to prioritize funds for basic services over the military budget.
“Despite its record of human rights violations and corruption, the DND has received P104.5B for 2011, with a 6.35% increase from last year’s budget, including P5 billion allotted for ‘modernization’ funds. It is lamentable that the current Aquino government continues to pamper the military especially when its generals continue to live lavishly, while the military remains at the forefront of the violations of the civil, political, economic and socio-cultural rights of the people. Instead of using public funds for education, health and other social services, these are being used to terrorize the people and in enriching these generals,” he concluded.
Fr. Dionito Cabillas, Secretary General, SELDA
Nino Buenaventura, Media Liaison Officer, SELDA