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More Pagcor execs linked to graft raps

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Five other former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. have been named co-respondents in plunder and malversation complaints earlier filed against former Pagcor chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr. with the Office of the Ombudsman.

In a March 26 complaint-in-intervention, broadcast journalist Angelo Palmones identified the additional respondents as Pagcor vice president for the finance and treasury department Estela Ramos, assistant VP for accounting Vidal Cabigon Jr., assistant vice president for inance and treasury department Talavera Virginia, assistant vice president for the security department Byron Tabangay and security department officer-in-charge Michael Bailey.

Several unidentified respondents were included in the complaint, he said, adding the participation of other officials could surface later during the investigation.

The complaint stemmed from allegations of questionable disbursements of agency funds of P254.85 million in 2012 and P62.82 million in 2013 allegedly drawn from Pagcor’s confidential and intelligence funds and used for its Save The House Project.

According to the original complainant, Valente Custodio, also a former Pagcor official, a total of 48 checks were drawn from Pagcor’s deposit accounts with the Land Bank of the Philippines and Philippine National Bank over a period of 13 months totaling P317.7 million.

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Based on the breakdown of withdrawals included in the complaint, the first 30 checks were drawn from March 20, 2012 to Dec. 14, 2012 and 18 more from Jan. 3, 2013 to April 10, 2013.

On June 17, 2013, the Commission on Audit issued a notice of suspension against the disbursements, saying the project descriptions were not submitted.

The Pagcor management failed to satisfy the documentary requirements for the said fund releases, prompting COA to issue a notice of disallowance on Oct. 23, 2013.

Custodio was himself charged with multiple graft and malversation charges before the Sandiganbayan as a co-accused of former chairman Efraim Genuino involving allegations of fund irregularities totaling P183.7 million.

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