Ex-Army officer, 5 others face graft raps


A RETIRED brigadier general of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) is facing a P1.7-million graft lawsuit for tapping private firms in direct contract for construction of a military-run hospital.

The Office of the Ombudsman slapped Francisco Callelero as lead defendant in six counts of graft for construction and repair in the 1351st Dental Building in the AFP Medical Center in V. Luna Road, in Quezon City.

Graft prosecutors charged Callelero in six counts of graft together with retired colonels Jaime Rodrigo and Carlito Besorio and retired captain Ramir Llagas. Active officer Maj. Rony Cubar is also indicted.

Private individuals Basilio de Guzman of Guzi Enterprises and Eric Muros of ELM Elek-TRU were charged in three counts of graft.

The Ombudsman charged the military men in their capacity as former members assigned at the 355th Aviation Engineering Wing, Basa Air Base in Pampanga province.

According to the charge sheets, the public officials entered into two transactions with de Guzman worth P1.16 million for the fabrication and installation of roof framing, carpentry works, and floor finishing in the AFP Medical Center.

A third transaction fetched P583,000 for the electrical installation in the hospital.

All transactions were allegedly without public bidding, “which deprived the government of the opportunity to secure a fair and lower price for the contract.”

The first three sets related to violation of Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act where the public officials allegedly caused undue injury to the government or allowed the unwarranted benefit of any private party.

Another three sets of graft, where the five military officers are the only respondents, related to violation of Section 3 (g) of the anti-graft law, where they are accused of entering into any disadvantageous contract on behalf of the government, whether or not the public officer profited or will profit thereby.

A bail of P180,000 is imposed on the five military officers, while P90,000 for the private individuals.


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