Sen. Santiago says Rabusa’s testimony can convict Reyes

January 31, 2011 7:50 am 

MANILA, Jan. 30 – International law expert and Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago believes that the expose of former Lt. Col. George Rabusa can send to jail former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) chief of staff Angelo Reyes and other military generals who abused powers in pocketing the taxpayers’ money.

”Reyes can be convicted on the basis of the testimony of one eyewitness alone. I am not saying of one witness, but one EYEWITNESS, he was there,” Santiago said on Sunday in a radio dzBB interview.

Rabusa, a former military budget officer, testified during last Thursday’s Senate blue ribbon committee hearing that Reyes got “pabaon” send-off money worth “not less” than P50 million when he retired in 2001.

The money was allegedly on top of the P10 million, including P5 million for Reyes’ personal use, according to Rabusa.

Santiago also believed that Rabusa is a credible witness to pin down Reyes and other former AFP chiefs who also received similar hefty "pabaon bonanza" taken from PCDA (provision for command-directed activities).

”As long as you have a credible witness, the best credible witness is an eyewitness… They can, of course, cross examine the defense counsel,” Santiago said.

Rabusa told the committee that the PCDA is a long practice in the military which has an annual budget P480 million raised from various AFP units.

The Senate’s inquiry is aimed at investigating the controversial plea bargain agreement between former military comptroller Carlos Garcia and the Ombudsman state prosecutors. (PNA) scs/jfm

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