Army graft trials begin in Manila

By Sarah Toms 
BBC correspondent in Manila

military court in the Philippines for leading a brief mutiny last year. 

The junior officers said they staged the mutiny to air grievances over low pay and corruption in the upper ranks. 

Another court martial hearing also begins for a general accused of amassing vast wealth on a meagre wage. 

The mutineers can expect leniency but Major General Carlos Garcia faces the wrath of a government trying to clamp down on corruption in the military. 

'Tip of iceberg' 

The military hearings resume after an eight-month halt while a civilian court decided on jurisdiction over the cases. 

The six young officers said they staged the mutiny to protest against corruption in the upper ranks. 

Suspicions of corruption in the military are nothing new in the Philippines but the trial of the mutineers and another of Gen. Garcia could open the way for dozens of cases. 

President Gloria Arroyo's government, under pressure to stamp out corruption, has vowed to make an example of the general. 

General Garcia, a former military finance manager who earned about $600 a month, is suspected of illegally amassing hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

Elements of the military have staged at least a dozen coup attempts since President Ferdinand Marcos was ousted in 1986. 

Mutineers have been given only light punishments in the past and President Arroyo has hinted she favours leniency for the young officers now on trial. 

The trial of General Garcia has far broader implications, especially as anger about corruption still lingers among young soldiers. 

Analysts say the Garcia case is just the tip of the iceberg but the question is how deep the investigation will delve into the military and the government.

16/11/2004

Bron : BBC News

Archief - Home