Manila, August 18, 2003 (STAR) By Jess Diaz  - Thirty-seven star-rank officers in the Army, Air Force and Navy who were confirmed by the Commission on Appointments (CA) are all millionaires, according to research conducted by The STAR.

According to the statements of assets and liabilities (SALs) they submitted to the CA, the poorest of the generals is worth P1 million while the wealthiest is worth P13.4 million.

The documents do not reflect the true wealth of the generals since many chose to indicate the acquisition cost of their properties instead of the market value. Some, however, indicated their assets’ market values.

Defense Secretary Angelo Reyes, a former Armed Forces chief of staff, is worth P3.5 million. His assets include a house and lot in San Juan (inheritance), for which he listed an acquisition cost of P400,000 but which has a market value of at least P9 million, a lot in Parañaque (acquisition cost, P100,000; market value, P10 million), and a lot at the officers’ housing area in Fort Bonifacio (acquisition cost P115,000; market value, P4 million).

It is at Fort Bonifacio that Reyes is allegedly building a mansion costing at least P10 million.

Reyes’ basic monthly salary was P35,000. Generals receive between P25,000 and P30,000 a month.

Lt. Gen. Narciso Abaya, incumbent chief of staff, is worth P4 million. His wealth includes a house and lot in Horseshoe Village, Quezon City worth P1.7 million (acquisition cost) and another house and lot in Fairview, also in Quezon City, valued at P200,000 (acquisition cost).

Navy chief Rear Admiral Ernesto de Leon is worth P5 million, P3.3 million of which is cash in the bank. Vice Admiral Victor Hingco declared a net worth of P1.7 million.

During his testimony before the Senate last Thursday, Navy Lt. (sg) Antonio Trillanes IV claimed that De Leon had offered Reyes a huge sum for his Navy post, an allegation that Reyes promptly denied.

Lt. Generals Dionisio Santiago, Benjamin Defensor, Diomedio Villanueva and Roy Cimatu are worth P2.4 million, P2.5 million, P2.9 million, and P3.5 million respectively.

The wealthiest of the 37 is Maj. Gen. Nestor Santillan of the Air Force. He declared a net worth of P13.4 million, including a P12.5-million house and lot in Pacific Village, Muntinlupa City.

The other millionaire generals are Gregorio Camiling, P1.1 million; Jaime de los Santos, P7.9 million; Ernesto Carolina, P1.1 million; Nemesio Sigarya, P2.9 million; Carlos Garcia, P1.4 million; Apolonio Ugale, P2 million; Romeo Dominguez, P6.7 million;

Alfonso Dagudad, P2.5 million; Jacinto Ligot, P2.8 million; Cicero Castellano, P1.5 million; Cristolito Balaoing, P1.2 million; Pedro Atienza, P1.1 million; Edilberto Adan, P3.5 million; Reynaldo Alcasid, P2.9 million; Manuel Carranza, P4.2 million;

Efren Abu, P3.8 million; Avelino Aviol, P3.4 million; Rufo de Veyra, P6.2 million; Rodolfo Garcia, P1.8 million; Roy Kyamko, P3.5 million; Guillermo Lorenzo, P3 million; Generoso Senga; P4. 7 million; Virgilio Totanes, P3.4 million; Emmanuel Teodosio, P2.7 million; Marciano Ilagan, P4 million; Glicerio Sua, P1.3 million; and Rodolfo Floria, P1.1 million.

Besides their private houses, many generals have housing quarters in various housing projects of the Armed Forces, including the Jusmag area at Fort Bonifacio that the residents’ wives have successfully titled in the name of their association.

The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) has been trying to recover the Jusmag area so it can sell it to raise funds for the military’s modernization program. It is said to be worth at least P6 billion. Lot prices in the area range from P30,000 to P50,000 per square meter.

In the wake of allegations of widespread corruption in the military, members of the Commission on Appointments intend to scrutinize the wealth of officers whose promotions are up for confirmation.

Reported by: Sol Jose Vanzi

All rights reserved