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Day of infamy

Falsehood boomerangs, and if it does, it could be a political karma.



A day never to be forgotten by 17 military officers and one accountant of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and four state auditors of the Commission on Audit (CoA), including State Auditor V Arturo Besana, is 9 June 2011.

Believe it or not, the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigation of the allegations against the 17 military officers and one accountant, and four state auditors, in aid of legislation, was based on a non-existent audit report that was not signed by a single member of the composite team and by Heidi Mendoza herself, and on mere allegations and “inventions” of her tandem, AFP budget officer, Lt. Col. George Rabusa.

This deed by the Blue Ribbon Committee, “only in the Philippines,” could be an entry of the Philippine Senate to the Guinness Book of World Records.

Legislators who initiated this investigation then had filed their certificates of candidacy for public office.

State auditors by the hundred urged me through text messages during my birthday “to inform the electorate about this.”

On 11 June 2011, the opinion page of Philippine Star appeared with a blazing headline: “Besana: Rabusa is a liar.”

“My inclusion by Col. George Rabusa in the list of 17 in the plunder case is the strongest argument that Rabusa is a liar,” I said in my opening statement, with a warning at the end:

“If the handlers of Rabusa will not be very careful, they themselves might suffer his reckless imprudence… Falsehood boomerangs, and if it does, it could be a political karma.”

On the first hearing in the Department of Justice (DoJ), I was the only one of the accused who attended the hearing accompanied by my eldest daughter, Trisha.

The rest of the accused were represented by their lawyers. I was late by five minutes, but I explained to the panel that I took the jeep in coming, to show to them that I did not plunder millions.

When I looked to one side of the DoJ hall, I saw some nuns. I asked the panel of prosecutors, “Your Honors, that man at the back with the nuns, must be Col. Rabusa.”

They said, “Yes.”

“Your Honors, would you please allow me to talk to him for a minute?”

“Yes,” the panel answered.

Rabusa and the nuns were about 12 meters to the back of the hall, and when we were face to face with each other I could not hide my anger.

“Col. Rabusa, this must be your first time to see me, just as this is my first time to see you. How come you included me in your list of the accused? You are a liar. And you sisters, why are you here, guarding a mortal sinner? If Cardinal Sin were alive, he would not like you guarding this mortal sinner and a liar.”

In the first memorandum issued by the DoJ panel of prosecutors, I was one of the first batch to be cleared of the charge.

This was followed by the decision of the Ombudsman affirming the innocence of the state auditors, and also dismissing the charges against the 17 military officers and one chief accountant of the AFP.

A military officer and I filed a countercharge against Rabusa for the crime of plunder based on his admissions that he was the only one guilty of the crime he accused the AFP officers and the CoA auditors. Rabusa was, however, saved by the witness protection program.

To insulate himself from prosecution of plunder, Rabusa emerged in the Senate as a “star witness” and even availed himself of the Witness Protection Program in the same style of his equally deadly tandem, the crying lady, Heidi Mendoza.

Rabusa was the inventor of the terms “pabaon” and “pasalubong,” which nobody but himself enjoyed.

He burned four of five boxes of official documents and kept only one, any of whose contents turned out to be unbelievable to the prosecutors of DoJ and the Office of the Ombudsman. The ugly investigation by the senators over the AFP officers was an undignified and shameless assertion of civilian supremacy over the military.