Ex-Pagcor chair, others indicted for malversation and graft-A A +A
Wednesday, March 6, 2013
MANILA -- A slew of cases await former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) chairman Efraim Genuino before the Sandiganbayan because of his alleged involvement in graft-ridden transactions and misuse of funds.
His son Erwin and other Pagcor officers Rafael Francisco, Jose Benedicto, Rene Figueroa, Edward King, Ester Hernandez, and Valente Custodio will also be charged with graft and malversation of funds, based on the 43-page joint review resolution released by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales.
In reviewing the complaint filed by the Department of Justice, Morales said the following should be indicted for one count of malversation and another count for violating the anti-graft law due to the losses incurred by Pagcor when it promoted the award-winning movie "Baler" in 2009.
The Ombudsman learned that Pagcor advanced the cost for 89,000 movie tickets at P300 each or a total of P26.7 million, which was contrary to the scheme approved by Pagcor to merely offer movie tickets to casino patrons through the Player Tracking System (PTS) points.
Pagcor records showed that only 7,791 tickets were bought by casino patrons, while 6,253 tickets were sold by its branches to the public, and 2,806 tickets were sold to employees through salary deduction, thus leaving 72,150 unused tickets worth P21,645,000.
Add to that was the sales commission of P474,510 for a total of P22,119,510. The money was categorized under marketing expenses and charged to Pagcor's operating funds. Pagcor also spent P2,064,989.30 for advertising alone.
Morales noted the necessary documents were processed in one day while check-payment was released the following day.
She also discovered conflict of interest on the part of Genuino, Benedicto, Francisco and King as they were incorporators of the Batang Iwas Droga Foundation (Bida), which produced the film with Viva Communications.
The same can be told about Genuino's son Erwin, then Pagcor executive assistant and executive producer of "Baler," when Pagcor facilities and resources were used in the post-production and promotion of the movie.
Meanwhile, Genuino, King, Francisco, Figueroa, Hernandez, and Custodio will be charged with 17 counts of malversation and 17 counts of violation of Section 3(e) in relation to 3(g) of Republic Act 3019 for unlawful donations and payments.
This developed after the Ombudsman said Pagcor's intelligence funds worth P44 million were used in the "indiscriminate grant of cash advances or disbursements" to Bida Foundation, Bida Production, Wildformat Inc., and Pencil First, without any public purpose and failure to comply with legal and regulatory requirements.
The resolution dated February 25 stated the funds were released even before the documents requesting for such release were accomplished.
It also found the "favored-son treatment" in the transactions worth more than P50 million used by Bida to procure tarpaulin, shirts, caps, promotional items, stage production, and sponsorship expenses taken from Pagcor funds.
Additional malversation and graft charges will also be slapped against the six respondents for channeling P63 million in Pagcor funds to the advertising placements of Bida's campaign for a party-list seat in 2010.
Lastly, the Ombudsman found Genuino and King liable in connection with Pagcor's shouldering of the forwarding, storage, and brokerage of 300 metric tons of donated rice that were already packed into 10,000 bags at 30 kilograms/bag.
The rice donated by a Japanese firm for the victims of typhoon "Frank" in 2008 was allegedly repacked into smaller bags bearing the images and political slogans of brothers Erwin and Anthony Genuino in 2010.
The bags of rice were then released to the Genuino-owned Trace Computer College in Laguna, among others. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)