Brigadier general, colonel facing court martial over ghost deliveries, fraudulent transactions

UPDATED President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the relief and initiation of court martial proceedings against at least 20 military officials including a brigadier general and colonel for their alleged involvement in ghost transactions and fraudulent activities in V Luna Medical Center, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque announced today during the press briefing in Malacañang.

“It was brought to the President’s attention that alleged corruption activities had been taking place at the V Luna Medical Center,” Roque said.

According to Roque the report involves PHP1.491570 million worth of anomalous deals, however, several anomalous transactions in V Luna involving hundreds of millions will also be investigated.

“The President has since read the reports of the Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission and the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief-of-Staff General Carlito Galvez. Based on the reports, several high ranking officials and employees of V Luna Medical Center, the Health Service Command (HSC) of AFP, undertook anomalous purchases of equipment and engaged in fraudulent transactions, including ghost purchasing, splitting of contracts to circumvent mandatory bidding processes, and conceiving fictitious suppliers,” he said.

“President Duterte has ordered the relief and court martial proceedings against the top military brass which includes Brigadier General Edwin Leo Torrelavega, commander of AFP Health Service Command; Colonel Antonio Punzalan, commander of the V Luna Medical Center; chiefs of Management and Fiscal Office and the Logistics Office of the AFPHSC among others,” he noted.

Roque said that General Galvez will immediately relieve Brigadier General Torrelavega and Colonel Punzalan and will convene court martial proceeding against them.