A ranking Philippine army official under investigation for massive graft was placed in custody at military headquarters yesterday and will be made to face a congressional inquiry. \nMajor General Carlos Garcia was transferred from a private hospital where he has been undergoing treatment for hypertension to the military's Camp Aguinaldo in suburban Quezon city north of Manila, military spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Daniel Lucero said. \nA Philippine court has already ordered a freeze on about 40 bank accounts and other assets of Garcia and his family during the investigation, while the military said court martial proceedings would be initiated against the general. \nGarcia would be the highest ranking military official in recent history to be placed under investigation for graft. \nAccording to anti-money laundering authorities, Garcia and his family have amassed at least 185.339 million pesos (US$3.3 million) in cash and assets while his declared net worth in 2003 was only 2.76 million pesos (US$49,000. \nHis monthly salary as the military's finance officer was only just above US$600 dollars. \nHe failed to show up at a Congressional inquiry into alleged corruption in the armed forces after he was hospitalized due to hypertension. \nBut Lucero said he was moved to military barracks early yesterday upon the orders of armed forces chief General Narciso Abaya, who will also appear before the inquiry on Monday. \n"This only shows decisiveness on the part of the military to show the public we are not hiding him," Lucero said over local radio. "We are not protecting him and he has to answer all the allegations against him." \nPresident Gloria Arroyo last week also ordered court martial proceedings for Garcia, the highest ranking military official in recent history to be placed under investigation for graft. \nThe case has boosted public concerns about corruption within the military, just a year after Arroyo crushed a rebellion by 300 junior officers and enlisted men who accused their generals of enriching themselves. \nAnalysts have said that unless Arroyo weeds out corruption within the force, it could lead to more coup attempts by disgruntled soldiers. \nAccusations of massive graft also triggered uprisings that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986 and president Joseph Estrada in 2001. \nInformation about Garcia's alleged wrongdoings was intially provided by US authorities after one of the general's sons was held at the San Francisco airport in December 2003 for failing to declare US$100,000 that he was carrying.
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