New AFP Health Services chief named

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
totalITemsFound:
maxPaginationLinks: 10
maxPossiblePages:
startIndex:
endIndex:

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 14) — The Armed Forces of the Philippines Health Services Command (AFPHSC) has a new chief after allegations of corruption rocked the institution Monday.

On Tuesday, BGen. August Villa took over the post left by BGen. Edwin Leo Torrelavega.

Villa is currently the AFP's Surgeon General and will be taking over the post as acting commander.

In a speech in Malacañang also on Tuesday, President Rodrigo Duterte said he wanted Torrelavega "humiliated" in front of his peers during court martial proceedings.

"(AFP Chief of Staff, Gen. Carlito) Galvez showed to me the report and I was scratching my head. He said, 'Mayor, sorry but this is what happened.' I said, 'You court martial him. Create a court where he will appear for his peers and give him the most humiliating...," the President said.

Torrelavega was removed from his post Monday after being identified as among the 20 officials from the V. Luna Medical Hospital, who where linked to an alleged ghost contract worth ₱1.2 million.

Apart from Torrelavega, those involved are V. Luna Medical Center Commander Colonel Antonio Punzalan; and AFPHSC chiefs of the Management and Fiscal Office and the Logistics Office.

All 20 accused will be facing an investigation to determine if there are grounds to charge them before the military court.

Anomalous transactions included ghost purchasing, splitting of contract to circumvent mandatory bidding processes, and conceiving fictitious suppliers, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Monday.

"Apparently it's a conspiracy. It was institutional corruption in V. Luna," he said.

Those involved in the corruption mess will be charged with fraud against the government, the AFP said.

At the Change of Command ceremony on Tuesday, an emotional Galvez admitted being disturbed by the controversy rocking the organization.

"I know its sad. Nine days na ako hindi nakakatulog [I have not slept for nine days]. I should... I will do my best... In one month, I will clear the AFP Medical Center of corruption," he said.

Galvez earlier described the corrupt practice at the hospital as systematic being run by a cartel.

Another officer also came under fire Tuesday.

In an event in Malacañang, President Duterte signed the dismissal order for  Lt. Col. Hector Marana, the Comptroller of the Philippine Military Academy, who was found guilty of malversing ₱15 million of the cadets' allowance.

"He was recommended to be imprisoned six to 12 years. This is good. Can I have a pen I will sign it in your presence? Send the guy to hell." Duterte said.

CNN Philippines' senior correspondent Ina Andolong contributed to this report.