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Friday, March 1, 2024

Prosecutors want Romero indicted for graft

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THE Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila has recommended the indictment of billionaire and elected party-list Rep. Michael Romero and two other former officials of Harbour Centre Port Terminal Inc. for qualified theft, and for taking company funds for transactions that turned out to be non-existent.

In a resolution dated July 1, 2016, prosecutors found probable cause to hold Romero, former president of Harbour Centre, along with Edwin Jeremillo, former chief operating officer and Felicia Aquino, former cashier, liable for qualified theft for issuing 18 Harbour Centre checks on April 27, 2007, amounting to P3.4 million payable to non-existent payees.

No bail was recommended for their release.

Based on the complaint filed by Harbour Centre,  the three conspired to issue 18 checks in one day, with each bearing the amount of P200,000 supposedly for “marketing expenses” and payable to National Food Authority/ or Felicia Aquino.

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It was Romero and Jeremillo who signed and issued the checks.

The prosecutors noted that the transactions for which the checks were issued appeared to be non-existent because no evidence was presented to show that NFA had any transactions with Harbour Centre.

The prosecutors also found that all checks were not cashed by the NHA but by Aquino herself. She claimed that she delivered the amount to another person, Ramon Olvina, but he denied in a sworn statement that he received the money. 

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