SC upholds dismissal of Marine commandant Miranda who stole soldiers’ clothing allowance

The Supreme Court (SC) upheld the dismissal of a Philippine Marine
Corps commandant of pocketing P36.768 million in clothing and
equipment allowances for soldiers 20 years ago.

In a July 10 decision made public Tuesday, the SC’s Second Division –
through Associate Justice Amy Lazaro-Javier – ordered the dismissal
from the military service of former Marine commandant, Maj. Gen.
Renato Miranda, who was charged by the Office of the Ombudsman along
with four other Marine officials of pocketing the Combat, Clothing
Allowance and Individual Equipment Allowance (CCIE) for year 1999.

The High Court reversed the Court of Appeals (CA) decision which
nullified the order issued by the Ombudsman on February 27, 2009,
dismissing Miranda from the service, along with five other military
officers, for grave misconduct and serious dishonesty.

The SC ruled that the appellate court erred when it cleared Miranda
from the charges despite compelling evidence on record showing that he
committed the offenses.

“What respondent did was truly indispensable to the consummation of
the unlawful disbursement of public funds which cause prejudiced to
the government,” the SC ruled.

The Court also ordered the forfeiture of all his benefits except for
accrued leave benefits and perpetually disqualified him from
re-employment in any branch of service of the government, including
government-owned and controlled corporations.

The former Marine commandant is also facing a graft case before the
Sandiganbayan for malversation through falsification of public
documents in connection with the anomaly.

In its petition before the SC, the Ombudsman insisted that Miranda
along with his four co-accused PMC personnel conspired to defraud the
government through a fictitious grant of CCIE allowances to enlisted
members of the Philippine Marine Corps.

Each enlisted employee was supposed to get P8,381.25 as Combat
Clothing Allowance and P6,337.80 as Individual Equipment Allowance, or
a total of P14,719.05.

The disbursements were released through 19 checks in various amounts.
At least 145 soldiers who were supposed to benefit from the fund
attested that they did not receive any amount in full or in part.

Miranda was dismissed from the military service in 2006 for his part
in the coup plot to oust then-President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo but
was granted amnesty by former President Benigno Aquino III in 2010.

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