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SEA Games exec charged with P6.7-m qualified theft

An official of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee has been charged before the Department of Justice for allegedly pocketing over P6.7 million in corporate funds of the Philippine Superliga Inc. that he used to head.

In an 11-page complaint filed before the Taguig City Prosecutor’s Office, copy of which furnished the DOJ, PHILSGOC executive director Ramon “Tats” Suzara has been accused of qualified theft by PSL, which runs the country’s first semi-professional corporate club volleyball league, before the Taguig City prosecutor’s office.

Besides Suzara, former president of the corporation, the PSL also included its former corporate treasurer and finance director Donaldo Jose “Don” Caringal in the charge sheet and sought their indictment for violation of Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code.

Suzara is president and CEO of SportsCore Event Management and Consultancy Inc. and known organizer of local and international tournaments. A former administrator of the Philippine Sports Commission complex, he is also currently the marketing and development committee chairman of the FIVB and Asian Volleyball Confederation.

The complainant alleged that Suzara and Caringal made unauthorized disbursements of its funds totaling P6,762,946 in several instances in 2015 and 2016.

Through its new president and authorized representative Dr. Adrian Paolo “Ian” Laurel, the PSL alleged that the respondents issued a total of 11 checks payable to their names or to cash from its corporate account in several dates from Dec. 2015 to Oct. 2016.

Among those were two checks amounting to P4 million and P2 million payable to Caringal, while three others amounting to P400,000 payable to Suzara.

“The withdrawals of the aforementioned amount are unauthorized and were not disclosed to the Board of Directors of the corporation. It was only after PSL secured the services of an external auditor that the foregoing anomaly was discovered,” read the complaint.

“There is no board resolution authorizing the release of cash advance to any of the Board of Directors or Officers of the corporation. There is also no board resolution authorizing Caringal to withdraw from the corporation the amounts of P4,000,000 and P2,000,000,” it stressed.

In the same complaint, Laurel further alleged that Suzara and Caringal even tried to convince him to hire an external auditor that can be controlled or dictated upon.

“Notwithstanding their request, I denied pushing for the hiring of my recommended external auditor because not just I felt it was against what the Board agreed upon, but it was also unethical and illegal,” he recalled.

The PSL said it has issued a demand letter on the respondents in Nov. last year for them to explain the unauthorized withdrawals of the funds and return the said amounts. But neither of the two has responded.

The corporation believed that all elements of the crime of qualified theft were present in the case, including taking of property of others without their consent and with intent of personal gain through grave abuse of confidence.

“Since both respondents Suzara and Caringal withdrew directly from the account of the corporation without any valid authority, each of them abused the said relationship with the corporation. They abused the high degree of confidence given to them through their positions in the corporation. Hence, the taking of the cash of the corporation was done with grave abuse of confidence,” the complainant added.

Topics: SEA Games , Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee , Philippine Superliga Inc.qualified theft
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