This has reference to the article written by Mr. Ruffy Cruz titled “All’s well between vets’ group, Carolina” published in Manila Times dated 18 May 2014.
We understand that The Manila Times has already become an institution in the news industry. In its 114 years of service to the Filipino people, it has become a trusted newspaper that provides accurate, fair, comprehensive and balanced news.
However, in the abovementioned article, Mr. Cruz mentioned and we quote “Carolina explained during the interview that he has the power to suspend, delay or demolish VFP anytime he wants because the law grants him the power to do so.”
I would like to clarify that I was never interviewed by Mr. Ruffy Cruz and I never said the statements attributed to me. I never deviated from the official statement of the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO) and the Department of National Defense (DND) which says, the Hon. Voltaire T. Gazmin, Secretary of National Defense approved the holding of the 1st National President’s Convention of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP) on 17 May 2014 at the Veterans Center, Veterans Road, Western Bicutan, Taguig City.
The National Convention aims to provide avenue for the VFP Districts members to share their best practices in integrating the concepts, advocacies and principles of the VFP’s Constitution and By-Laws in all aspects of the organization. Secretary Gazmin has approved in October 2013 the Constitution and By-Laws of the VFP and it is now being implemented.
The CBL is designed to institute reforms that would improve the management of the Federation; align the practices to the requirements of Republic Act 2640 and the new Governance Commission for GOCC Act; maximize the benefits to be derived from the assets the government has given to the Federation and to create a unified Filipino Veterans Community.
For your reference, please see the attached Official Statement/Press Release issued by this office pertaining to the May 17 VFP National Convention.
We also want to correct Col. Bonifacio De Gracia’s statement that the DND did not consult the VFP Supreme Council before deciding to change the existing constitution and by-laws. As a matter of fact, for two years there had been consultations and public hearings in the House of Representatives before Secretary Gazmin approved the Constitution and By-Laws of the Federation.
We have respect and are confident that The Manila Times will uphold its tradition of providing just, comprehensive and fair news reporting by rectifying the misinformation published. Attached herewith is a copy of PVAO and DND’s official statement on the issue for your reference.
We respectfully request your good office to furnish us the corrected copy of this article. Thank you very much.
Very truly yours,
Lt. Gen. Ernesto G. Carolina, AFP (Ret.)
Philippine Veterans Affairs Office