Pamaran as VFP acting president

Published May 30, 2018, 6:55 PM

by Roel Tibay

By Francis Wakefield

Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana designated and appointed World War II veteran Manuel R. Pamaran, a retired Sandiganbayan Justice, as Acting President of the Veterans Federation of the Philippines (VFP).

Justice Manuel R. Pamaran
Manuel R. Pamaran

The oath taking ceremony took place on Monday (May 28, 2018) at the EDSA Lounge, DND Building, Camp General Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

Secretary Lorenzana’s designation and appointment of VFP’s new acting president is by virtue of his power of “control and supervision” over the VFP as granted by Section 1 of Republic Act 2640 and the power to approve “any action or decision of the Federation or of the Supreme Council,” granted to the Secretary of National Defense under Section 2 of RA 2640.

Pursuant to Department Order No. 184, the Defense Chief directed Justice Pamaran to immediately assume the presidency and exercise the powers and functions of the president until his successor is duly elected, in accordance with the SND-approved Revised VFP Election Code. Pamaran shall submit the revised Rules of Governance for the Secretary’s approval at the earliest possible time.

In the same Order, Secretary Lorenzana terminated the hold-over capacity of retired Col. Bonifacio G. De Gracia as VFP President. The Defense Chief also voided the result of the National, Affiliate and Regional Elections conducted by the VFP on 21 December 2017 due to violation of Department Circular No. 4 dated June 2, 2002 and Supreme Court Decision G.R. No. 155027 (VFP versus Angelo Reyes) dated February 28, 2006.

To ensure unhampered operation of the VFP and smooth leadership transition, Secretary Lorenzana also ordered the continuation in hold-over capacity of the incumbent members of the VFP Supreme Council.

All VFP personnel and its financial and property management offices have also been ordered to follow and cooperate with Justice Pamaran, who was directed to secure and protect the property and financial records of the public corporation in preparation of the extensive audit by the DND and the Commission on Audit.

Justice Pamaran, who remains sharp and active at 92, is the President of the Hunters-ROTC Guerrilla Association, the organization of the guerrilla unit where he served during World War II. He is not new to the VFP as he was the corporation’s Executive Vice President prior to his appointment as president, having performed functions equivalent to a Chief Operating Officer.

A member of the VFP Executive Board, he was likewise the Vice President for Charter Organizations of the VFP Supreme Council, the governing body of the federation.

The VFP is a government-owned and controlled corporation (GOCC) attached to the Department of National Defense and is under the control and supervision of the SND.

Created by Republic Act No. 2640, the VFP serves as an umbrella organization of all organizations of Filipino veterans and their dependents. It is mandated by law to uphold the interest and general welfare of all Filipino veterans, spouses and orphans.

While it does not receive funding from the government through the annual General Appropriations Act, it was granted with prime lots, real properties and assets by the government, which are being leased to corporate entities. It also collects semestral membership dues from its members, deducted from their pension from the Philippine Veterans Affairs Office (PVAO).

The PVAO Administrator was directed by Secretary Lorenzana to implement his Department Order, and see to it that the newly designated / appointed Acting VFP President is duly installed, including the safeguarding and protection of all VFP financial and property records.

Through good governance, transparency with its corporate affairs, active participation of veterans, and genuine reforms, Secretary Lorenzana hopes to transform the VFP into a public corporation that genuinely upholds the interest of all Filipino veterans.

Through the federation, the DND envisions to form a unified Filipino Veterans Community that serves as the government’s reliable partner in nation-building.