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Retired generals and colonels sign up to impeach Arroyo

July 18, 2006 5:05pm
A number of retired generals and colonels on Tuesday signed an impeachment complaint against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo set to be filed when the Chief Executive delivers her state of the nation address (SONA) on July 24.

Members of the party-list group Citizens Battle against Corruption (Cibac) also signed the complaint, which would be the fifth to be filed by Mrs. Arroyo’s critics since June 26 when the one-year ban ended.

"We have observed that something not right is happening. We can no longer watch her (President Arroyo) squander government funds," said retired Major General Ponciano Millena, former commandant of the Philippine Marine Corps and head of the military’s Western Command (Wescom).

Some of the retired generals admitted they were among “overstaying" ranking officers evicted from their residences at the Joint US Military Assistance Group (Jusmag) compound in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig, to give way to active officers.

Millena, however, stressed they signed the complaint because they could no longer stand the allegedly massive corruption under the Arroyo government, as well as its supposed efforts to cover these up.

Maj. Gen. Marciano Ilagan, former commander of the Tactical Air Operations Command of the Philippine Air Force, said his group agreed to sign the impeachment complaint to encourage more private citizens to join the move against the President.

He clarified, though, that the retired generals are not part of any destabilization plots against the government. "We are not part of any rebel movement. We would like to adhere to the legal process," he said.

Other retired ranking officers who signed the complaint were Maj. Gen. Vicente Belo, Briadier General Edgardo Pantilla, and Colonels Victor Reyes, Rolando Barola, Baylon Platon, Gilbert Mercader, Jesus Almojera and Angelito Oabel.

House Majority Leader Prospero Nograles, meanwhile, taunted anti-government groups and said no miracles are forthcoming as far as the impeachment proceedings are concerned.

“They (opposition) have tried exorcism, garlic, etc. They have tried everything but it didn’t work. I don’t think it will work. The miracle is not likely to happen. Maybe it's better that we abandon the impeachment complaint," he said.

Nograles advised his colleagues to heed the statement of Catholic bishops and admit that an impeachment process now is an exercise in futility because politicians would only use it to advance their interests.

Nograles said the House would be too busy tackling “important" legislative measures, such as those that seek to mitigate rising oil prices, than giving time to impeachment moves. -GMANews.TV


PCIJ.org: List of retired generals and colonels who signed the impeachment complaint and the last significant post each held.