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Military command gives Braganza 3-day reprieve

The military on Friday allowed President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo's former military aide, retired Army Lt. Gen. Alberto Braganza, to extend his stay in his quarters inside Camp Aguinaldo for three more days, hours after camp personnel began evicting him. "He is given until Monday night to clear his things," camp commander Brig. Gen. Jovenal Narcise said. He did not elaborate why the former Southern Command chief is given another reprieve. Under military regulations, Braganza was supposed to vacate his quarters last November, 60 days after he reached the mandatory retirement age of 56. However, higher authorities extended his stay until Friday. Two other "overstaying" retired generals, Maj. Gen. Efren Orbon and Brig. Gen. Ramon Santos, were supposed to be evicted, but Narcise on Thursday said he is going to give the three a reprieve. The camp commander said his men will start evicting the two officers from their residence either Sunday or Monday if they fail to vacate their quarters by then. Orbon, last assigned as commander of the Army's 2nd Infantry Division, retired in December while Santos who commanded a military task force in the South bowed out from the military service in September 2005. At around 8 a.m. several military trucks arrived at the quarters of Braganza on 435-A Arevalo Street and the camp personnel tasked to carry out the eviction process were entertained by the officer's wife. Braganza was not inside his house at that time. An hour later, camp personnel began loading pot plants and family belongings, which were later stocked in the Supply Accountable Office located inside the camp premises. At noontime, Braganza arrived and told media men that he has requested Armed Forces chief Gen. Generoso Senga for a one-month extension to give him enough time to move in to a new house. Braganza said he is aware of camp regulations on quarters because he once served as camp commander of Camp Aguinaldo. But he said his old house at Roxas district in Quezon City is being occupied by his children and their families. "So I requested for a one month extension. Now if they will not grant me that, there's no problem with me. I have served the Armed Forces well, I hope they will grant the extension I am requesting," he said. In a later interview, Narcise admitted that he has rejected Braganza's appeal for a one-month extension. On the three-day reprieve, Narcise said he authorized it because "Roxas district is far, and they have many things to haul." At least three officers have been evicted by Narcise since he assumed camp commander in February last year. The three were Commodore Salvador Esguerra, retired Col. Edmundo Gammad and Capt. Marlon Mendoza.-GMANEWS.TV