11 July 2024

The Future Forward party has been dealt a huge and embarrassing setback because it has been disclosed that its deputy leader, Lt-Gen Pongsakorn Rodchomphu, has been living in an army welfare housing unit since his retirement, just as the party campaigns for military reforms, including solving the problem of retired officers still living in welfare housing units.

 

The revelation about Pongsakorn has prompted the retired general to quit as deputy leader of the Future Forward party. He claims to have only lived in the house for four years, since his retirement from the service, and vowed to notify the army about his plan to vacate the property in March.

Army officials say, however, that he can leave now and there is no need for him to notify the Army.

 

Former National Security Council secretary-general Thawil Pliensri said, in his Facebook post on Monday, that Lt-Gen Pongsakorn left military service in 2012, not in 2016 as claimed.

He disclosed that Pongsakorn was transferred to the NSC as the deputy secretary-general, under then secretary-general Lt-Gen Paradorn Pattanathabutr, during the government of Yingluck Shinawatra, adding that Pongsakorn has been a civil servant since taking the position at the NSC in 2016, because the post is that of a civil servant, not a serving military officer.

 

“I don’t want to criticize anymore because it is quite clear. He (Pongsakorn) should have known, in his heart, whether it is appropriate or not. I merely want to provide accurate information in my capacity as Khun Pongsakorn’s former superior,” said Mr Thawil.

Citing Mr. Thawil’s information, Senator Somchai Sawaengkarn has suggested that the Future Forward party fire Pongsakorn, accusing the former army officer of lying about the timing of his departure from military service.

 

In his Facebook post today, he said Pongsakorn left the army eight years ago and has been living in an army housing unit ever since, not for just four years as he claims.

Interior Minister Anupong Paochinda admitted today that he, also, has been living in an army welfare housing unit since his retirement many years ago and is ready to move out to a private property, adding that he rarely stayed in the welfare housing, until only lately, because his own house is located too far away from his office at the Interior Ministry.