Army camp has new commander

AN Army general implicated, but later exonerated, in the supposed plunder of military resources has been named camp commander of Fort Bonifacio, home to the 80,000-strong Philippine Army.

Brig. Gen. Roy Devesa assumed the post of commander of the Army’s Headquarters and Headquarters Support Group on Wednesday last week.

Devesa, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1985, was deputy commander of the Army’s 5th Infantry Division based in Gamu town in Isabela, and commander of the 503rd Brigade based in Upi town, also in Isabela.

Devesa replaced Col. Kiram Azgar Grajo, deputy commander of the HHSG who was named acting after the retirement of Brig. Gen. Rodel Mauro Alarcon on January 27.

Army spokesman Lt. Col. Louie Villanueva said Devesa, as HHSG commander, is handling a very important job in the Army.

“He is the camp administrator. He is supervising the security of the camp, the headquarters of the Philippine Army. Located at the Army headquarters are various units providing support to troops on the ground,” said Villanueva.

Devesa was among several military officers who were charged by former military comptroller Col. George Rabusa with plunder in 2012 in connection with the controversial “conversion” scheme in the Armed Forces.

Among the ranking officers charged by Rabusa were former AFP chiefs Efren Abu, Diomedio Villanueva and Roy Cimatu, and former military comptrollers Carlos Garcia and Jacinto Ligot.

Devesa was the executive assistant of AFP chief Angelo Reyes who committed suicide in 2011 amid allegations he also benefited from the illegal conversion scheme while he was the AFP chief from 1999 to 2001.

The Office of the Ombudsman dismissed the charges against Devesa and the other officers for lack of evidence, except for Garcia.

Garcia, his wife, and his three children were tried for the plunder of about P303 million. The charges were dismissed after Garcia entered into a plea bargain deal with the Ombudsman, which lowered the charges to direct bribery and facilitating money laundering.

As part of the deal, Garcia agreed to return of P135 million of the P303 million he and his family supposedly plundered.

Meanwhile, two senior Army officers were promoted Monday last week — Army chief of staff now Maj. Gen. Chad Isleta and now Brig. Gen. Henry Robinson, commander of the Army’s 703rd Brigade based in Pangasinan.

http://www.malaya.com.ph/business-news/news/army-camp-has-new-commander

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