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Asset freeze vs fired AFP hospital officials sought

ARMED Forces of the Philippines  Medical Center (AFP Facebook)

ARMED Forces of the Philippines
Medical Center (AFP Facebook)

 

By CHARISSA ATIENZA

 

The vice chairman of the House Committee on Banks and Financial Intermediaries wants to freeze the bank accounts and other liquid assets of top officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Medical Center, who were fired over the alleged V. Luna Medical Center corruption scandal.

Leyte Rep. Henry Ong,  also a member of the House Committee on National Defense and Security, asked the AFP leadership to step up efforts to freeze the bank accounts and assets of those involved in the alleged anomalies at the hospital, formerly known as the V. Luna Medical Center.

“I call on AFP Chief of Staff General Carlito Galvez and his trusted officers to coordinate now with the Anti-Money Laundering Council and with the Department of Justice, so that the necessary measures can be swiftly done to freeze the bank accounts and other liquid assets of those involved in the corruption scandal President Rodrigo Duterte himself has exposed,” he said in a statement.

President Duterte has ordered the relief and court martial proceedings against Brigadier General Edwin Leo Torrelavega, commander of the AFP Health Service Command, and Col. Antonio Punzalan, commander at the V. Luna Medical Center.

“The assets of involved officials and civilians must be frozen immediately. Every moment counts. They could be transferring their funds right now and use those funds to elude arrest,” Ong said.

“All formal bank signatory authority given to all of them in the past must be revoked now and transmitted immediately to the banks,” he said.

He said the erring military officials should not be allowed to sign disbursements and processing of special allotment release orders (SAROs).

“All authority for any of them to sign disbursements and processing of SAROs must be suspended now,” Ong said.

“All financial records, paper trails, and electronic trails must be secured and preserved. The AFP can ask the expert help of the NBI Anti-Cybercrime Division on this,” he said.

 

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