Lawmaker moves for the deferral of DND modernization budget

BAYAN Muna Rep. Neri Javier Colmenares will move for the deferral of the Department of National Defense (DND) modernization budget if Sec. Voltaire Gazmin cannot satisfactorily explain the possible misuse of the modernization fund through the overpriced communication systems worth P1.8 Billion.

Rep. Colmenares questioned during the DND budget deliberations the P1.645 Billion allotted for 6,356 handheld radios which cost a staggering P258,823.00 for each walkie talkie. He also exposed the P138,400,000.00 price of 100 base radios which cost 1.4 million each. The Bayan Muna solon was also shocked that P99.483 Million was used in buying 2,934 Global Positioning system units which cost P33,907.00 each.

“The lame excuse that these units are 10 times overpriced because they have military specs is unacceptable especially since the AFP cannot explain what specs these units have other than being durable” said Colmenares.

Rep. Colmenares also questioned the sincerity of the Aquino government in resolving human rights violations because of the failure of the military to appear before the Regional Trial Court in Negros trying the case of Pfc Rafael Cordova and Pfc Reygine Laus who are accused of killing Bayan Muna member Bayles in June 2010.

“The promise of Aquino and Sec. Voltaire Gazmin that they will cooperate in the resolution of the murder case of Bayles is an empty gesture considering that for 2 years Col. Richard Bayhon and Col. Edilberto Soratos refused to heed the 4 or 5 subpoenas issued by RTC Branch 55 in Negros trying Pfc. Cordova and Pfc Laus,”

The progressive solon doubted the AFP’s supposed commitment to human rights when the US state department itself has been withholding millions of dollars every year because of human rights violations. Colmenares exposed the US$ 2 million withheld in 2009 during the time of Sec. Gilbert Teodoro.

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