A member of the so-called Davao Group is meddling with the modernization program of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV said Friday.
Trillanes claimed he received information from active members of the AFP that a retired general who is part of the Davao Group is issuing orders in connection with the purchase of military equipment.
“Hindi corruption sa AFP ang isyu dito, ‘yung modernization. May intermediaries na members ng Davao Group na ito ang nagmamando kung ano yung projects na bibilhin. Kunwari may bibilhin na gamit na hindi naman pinapabili, overpriced pa,” he said in a press conference.
Trillanes—a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte—raised the issue while he is facing arrest after the chief executive revoked the amnesty accorded to him by former President Benigno Aquino III, for his involvement in coup attempts in 2003 and 2007.
“Parang lords of war na tinatawag, kukuha ng mga bagsak-presyo na gamit at ipapasok nila dito doble presyo, papasok kunwari sa modernization plan nai-impose ng Malacañang mismo sa DND (Department of National Defense),” he added.
He refused to name the retired general saying it will come out at a proper time, but he said the Davao Group members are moving with Duterte's blessings.
“At the proper time ilalabas din yan. ‘Yung mga opisyal ang nagbibigay ng mga datos e. Tatanungin kung sino. Kilala nila kung sino ang mga nanghihimasok, definitely with the blessings of Duterte himself,” he said.
“Ipe-present ‘yan, isang former general na kasama nila sa grupo nila. Ito yung conduit, diretso ito kay Duterte mismo,” he added.
He added the retired military official is appointed by Duterte.
“Appointed siya, bina-bypass niya kung sino sinong senior officials, so very notorious ‘yan. Kilalang kilala ‘yan,” he said.
Trillanes said the active military officers aside from giving him support is providing him with information.
“In fact ngayon, I will take advantage of this, ‘yung pag-procure ng weapons na overpriced, ‘yung case sa frigate may substandard na major equipment; sa Air Force, itong pagbili ng mga gamit na hindi nila gustong bilhin. Ito ang pinaparating nila sa amin.
“Mga senior levels of the organization kasi alam nilang ilalabas namin ito, ‘yan mabigat sa kanila yang isyu na ‘yan,” he added. —LBG, GMA News