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PNoy agrees but raps Balutan for speaking out

President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the 8th East Asia Conference (EAC) on Competition Law and Policy at the Mindanao Ballroom, Sofitel Philippine Plaza in CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City on Wednesday (August 28, 2013). EAC is an open event for key high-level officials of competition agencies in East Asia. EAC participants exchange ideas, views and experiences on emerging regional competition issues; and undertake to strengthen understanding and cooperation with regard to the implementation of competition policy and law across the region. In photo is Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. (MNS Photo)

President Benigno S. Aquino III delivers his speech during the 8th East Asia Conference (EAC) on Competition Law and Policy at the Mindanao Ballroom, Sofitel Philippine Plaza in CCP Complex, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City on Wednesday (August 28, 2013). EAC is an open event for key high-level officials of competition agencies in East Asia. EAC participants exchange ideas, views and experiences on emerging regional competition issues; and undertake to strengthen understanding and cooperation with regard to the implementation of competition policy and law across the region. In photo is Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. (MNS Photo)

MANILA, Aug 28 (Mabuhay) – President Aquino said he agrees with the sentiments of Brig. Gen. Alexander Balutan on the misuse of the pork barrel. But the commander-in-chief rapped Balutan for speaking out, reminding active military personnel to stay neutral lest their statements could be used to sow discontent.

Aquino had been shown Balutan’s post on Facebook.

“Wala naman akong nakikitang mali sa sinabi ni General Balutan ‘no. Perhaps dapat lang mapaalala sa kanya, heneral siya at… currently serving. Meron tayong patakaran na dapat ang ating militar at kapulisan, dahil may monopoly of force, ay kailangan talagang all the time neutral. ‘Yun ang imporante para nga ‘yung hindi tayo magkaroon ng sitwasyon na pwedeng magkagulo,” Aquino told reporters.

“‘Yung pagda-divert nito sa mga maling paggamit, kasama niya ako nadidismaya at kasama niya akong talagang naghahanap ng katarungan at hustisya rito. Pero again, di ka pwedeng nagsasalita ng ganoon dahil marami nang gagamit doon sa mga sinabi mo para mag-create ng negative consequences sa ating lipunan at sana dapat mapaalala kay General Balutan nun,” he added.

In his Facebook page shared by many of his friends, Balutan said soldiers’ lives would not have been lost had the P10 billion in the pork barrel scam been spent on social services.

The lack of such services, he said, was the root cause of Muslim rebellion.

He said social inequity was caused by corrupt officials, who he called the real enemies of the state.

The outspoken officer once appeared in the Senate in 2005 when he was a lieutenant colonel to testify on alleged cheating in the 2004 elections despite being ordered not to talk by his Commander-in-Chief.

Balutan faced court martial proceedings but the case did not prosper. (MNS)

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