16 May 2009

The Gadian Saga Continues

Lt. Senior Grade Nancy Gadian photo courtesy of PN
Lt. Senior Grade Nancy Gadian tries to answer the accusations hurled against her by the camp of Lt. Gen. Eugenio Cedo and denied vehemently denied the grave misconduct charges filed against her. She said those charges were based on an "adverse report" claiming that she used portions of the Balikatan 2007 fund to satisfy her 'extravagant living and lavish spending.'

"Bakit ako? Magnanakaw ba ako? [Why me? Am I a thief?] Even their own witnesses sided with me and cleared my name," Gadian told GMANews.TV in an interview on 13 May 2009, a day before she was restrained by the Philippine Navy from airing grievances in connection with the alleged misuse of funds for the Balikatan exercises.

According to Gadian, the 2007 adverse report was prepared by Col. Antonio Dacanay who used to be the finance officer of the Philippine Army’s Western Mindanao Command formerly under Cedo.

Manny Nobleza, counsel to Gadian, said that in the case, Gadian was accused of committing three misconducts: (1) false declaration and misuse of funds (2) extravagant expenditure and (3) refusal to appear before the investigating committee under Cedo’s Western Mindanao command.

However, it seems that those complaints were simply baseless after the three witnesses of the prosecution had cleared Gadian of false declaration and misuse of fund charges that involved PhP 2.3 million.

The extravagant expenditure charge, on the other hand, seems to have lost its steam after it was found out that Gadian had to pay PhP 4,000 more from her own pockets to accommodate the stay at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Ortigas Center in Pasig City of the two US marines who went to Manila for a Balikatan briefing.

Meanwhile, as the military tries to pursue their case against Gaitan, the taxpayers continue to pay for the lavish trips of some military Generals abroad together with their wives as well as their expensive mansions and gas-churning SUV's. These are the same Generals who have desecrated their rank with their corruption, exhibitionism, abusiveness and stupidity by providing low-grade equipment to those fighting in the field.

Hypocrisy - nothing like it in the Philippine military. As low-ranked soldiers continue to fight the enemies of this country in the jungles of Mindanao and the mountain fastnesses in Luzon to uphold the rule of law, some Generals seems intent on following the footsteps of Army Major General Carlos Garcia by thinking that they are too precious to share the deprivations of fighting soldiers that they are suppose to lead. Maybe they want to be flown first class to the danger zone first.

Why can’t they just stay in the tents and do their job like the country's ordinary lads out there instead of enjoying the safety of hotels and air-conditioned offices? There are many armchair commanders in the Philippine military right now who have, without danger to themselves in their secure locations, seen young soldiers do the dirty work, like Lieutenant Senior Grade Nancy Gadian, or marching to their death while they themselves reaped the undeserved glory for battles supposedly won and outlaws reportedly killed.

If they continue to do what they are doing, everyone should not be surprised anymore if some disgruntled junior officer will stage another coup just for the purpose of getting rid of this overpaid and incompetent bunch of fat Generals in their ranks.