From the Philippine Star (May 6): No 'pabaon' under my watch says new AFP auditor
The new auditor of the military on Monday assured the public that there would be no "pabaon" or illegal conversion of funds during his watch.
Brig. Gen. Domingo Tutaan Jr., chief of the Armed Forces Office of the Internal Auditor, said he would make sure that the military’s resources are used properly.
“We have to look into it so that we can determine if they (resources) are in the right track or if they’re performing well in line with the security sector reform,” Tutaan said.
He added that the objective is to ensure the “judicious and prudent use of resources.”
Tutaan, who is also the spokesman of the military, said his office would conduct surprise audits when necessary.
“Other audits will be undertaken on special cases,” he said.
Tutaan said there would be no sacred cows in his drive to look into the transactions of military offices.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines’ (AFP) image has been tainted with corruption after former military budget officer George Rabusa had claimed in 2011 that some generals got huge sums upon retirement.
He said the giving of send-off money or “pabaon” to top officials is part of a tradition.
Military funds intended for other purposes were reportedly converted to cash gifts for ranking officials.
During the height of the controversy, survey firm Pulse Asia released a survey which showed that almost half of Filipinos view the AFP as an institution where corruption is most prevalent.
The AFP has repeatedly claimed that reforms have been undertaken to insulate its financial and procurement systems from irregularities.
Among the measures that have been suggested to address fund misuse are the signing of a military logistics support and ordering agreement; using purchase card to avoid carrying too much cash and improving the AFP disposal program for unserviceable equipment and reimbursable fund operations.
“I congratulate you and your party on your success at the general election and wish you well, as you take your country forward,” Chairman Al Haj Murad Ebrahim of the MILF said in a telephone interview Monday evening.
He noted that the democratic process is alive and well in Malaysia.
“This is a historic opportunity for the people of Malaysia to come together to build a better future,” Murad stressed further.
Murad also described the success of Najib’s political party as a very strong shot in the arm that invigorates the Philippine-MILF peace process which Malaysia has been facilitating since 2001.
The Malaysian Election Commission said Prime Minister Najib Razak's Barisan Nasional (BN; National Front) coalition won 133 of the 222 in parliamentary seats.
The opposition won 89 seats, up from 82, in Sunday's election.
Voters - some 80% of whom cast ballots - had been faced with returning the ruling coalition or choosing Mr. Anwar's untested three-party alliance, Pakatan Rakyat.
In the 2008 polls, the BN lost its two-thirds majority in parliament for the first time - something it failed to regain in these elections.
As the result was confirmed, Najib, 59, urged all Malaysians to accept his coalition's victory but acknowledged there is work ahead.
On Monday, a day after the Barisan victory, Najib was sworn in for a second term as prime minister by Malaysia's king.