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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Ex-Pagcor chief, former PSC head guilty of graft

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The Sandiganbayan has found Efraim Genuino, the former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) chairman, and two others guilty of graft and sentenced them to six to 10 years of imprisonment and perpetual disqualification from public office.

Genuino, former Pagcor president Rafael Francisco, and former Philippine Sports Commission Chairman William Ramirez violated the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices or Republic Act 3019, the anti-graft court said.

This was in connection with the direct release of P37.06 million by the state gaming agency to the Philippine Amateur Swimming Association (Pasa) in 2009, funds that were supposed to be used for the training of swimmers to be sent to the London Olympics in 2012.

Genuino’s lawyer manifested in open court that he will avail all possible remedies after the conviction.

The Sandiganbayan’s Third Division said that Genuino, Francisco, and Ramirez “acted with manifest partiality in providing Pasa with the funds — as it should have been coursed through the PSC.”

Ramirez, the Sandiganbayan decision said, wrote a letter to Genuino authorizing Pagcor to deduct from the PSC’s legal monthly income share the amounts due to Pasa, in violation of Section 26 of RA 6847 which established the PSC.

“Plainly, the direct release of a portion of the PSC’s share from PAGCOR to PASA was illegal as it directly contravened the above-quoted provision of the law,” said the decision written by Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang, Third Division chairman and the anti-graft court’s presiding justice.

During the trial, defense witness Julia Llanto admitted there was no PSC Board Resolution that authorized Pagcor to directly release the funds to PASA.

The Ombudsman filed the case in 2016.

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