By Perfecto Raymundo
The Dept. of Justice Tuesday recommended the filing of plunder, 175 counts of malversation of public funds and 174 counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act charges before the Office of the Ombudsman against former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation Chairman Efraim Genuino and 12 others.
Aside from Genuino, also recommended charged were PAGCOR Board members and officials and BIDA Foundation officials Rafael Francisco, Jose Benedicto, Rene Figueroa, Edward “Dodie” King, Ester Hernandez, Valente Custodio, and John Joseph Javier.
Javier is also the whistle blower upon whose affidavit the complaint was mainly based.
In three separate resolutions, the DOJ’s National Prosecution Service found probable cause for the filing of the charges against the respondents.
The charges were in connection with the alleged illegal disbursement of a P186-million fund and used it for the Batang Iwas Droga Foundation.
In a 109-page resolution, the prosecutors headed by Assistant State Prosecutor Edna Valenzuela found Genuino, et al.conspired with one another in amassing, acquiring and accumulating “ill-gotten wealth” of at least P50 million “in the form of illegal donations and irregularly approved sponsorships and contract awards” in favor of said two BIDA entities.
BIDA ran as a party-list group but lost in the May 10, 2010 synchronized automated national and local elections.
Likewise, Genuino and his two sons were accused of allegedly using for electioneering activities part of the 300 metric tons rice donation from Japan’s Aruze Corp. worth P3.1 million.
The amount was originally intended for the victims of typhoon Frank in 2008.
Both Anthony and Erwin Genuino ran but lost in the mayoralty race in Los Banos (Laguna) and Makati City, respectively, during the May 10, 2010 polls.
On the other hand, in a 49-page resolution, the prosecutors headed by Assistant State Prosecutor Gino Paolo Santiago found probable cause to charge Genuino, Benedicto, Figueroa, King, Hernandez and Custodio for malversation and for violation of Section 3 (e) of RA No. 3019.
This was in connection with the questionable purchase of tickets/passes for the movie “Baler”, a project of Viva Communiations, Inc. and BIDA Foundation, using public funds.
The value of the movies tickets/passes amounting to P26.7 million was paid to BIDA out of the operational expenses fund of PAGCOR.
Likewise, Prosecution Attorney Mary Jane Sytat found probable cause to charge Genuino, senior vice president King and then administrative officer of the corporate communications and services department Javier with malversation of public funds under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code.