Philippine graft court orders arrest of ex-general

The Philippines' anti-corruption court ordered on Wednesday the arrest of a retired general, two soldiers, a police officer and four business partners for the illegal sale of government-issued weapons in 2000.

Philippine graft court orders arrest of ex-general
Associate Justice Maria Cristina Cortez-Estrada also imposed a 120,000 pesos ($2,660) bail bond for each of the eight accused facing graft charges for the loss of 72 Heckler and Koch MP5 sub-machine guns.

The court asked the army and various law enforcement units to track down Brigadier-General Percival Subala and his associates, accused of selling the confiscated weapons to a private arms dealer in Manila.

State prosecutors said the guns were part of a large cache of weapons seized in October 2000 and were kept in a police armoury as government property.

According to the charges, Subala wrote to the police to release the weapons for use by the Philippine Marines. But instead of using the seized weapons, Subala delivered the sub-machineguns to a private arms dealer.

Graft is a major problem in the Philippine military, causing some 300 young officers to join an attempt to overthrow President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2003.

In 2006, the military's former chief finance officer, Carlos Garcia, a two-star army general, was sentenced to two years hard labour for using state funds to buy an apartment in New York's Manhattan area.

Garcia, his wife and two sons face separate criminal cases before the anti-graft court after U.S. customs authorities seized a large amount of cash from the general's children at a California airport in 2004.

Reuters
Last Mod: 02 Temmuz 2008, 15:48
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