Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation

Genuino, four others face malversation charges for using rice donation to typhoon victims in electioneering activities

Genuino, four others face malversation charges for using rice donation to typhoon victims in electioneering activities
PAGCOR President and COO Jorge Sarmiento signs the affidavit of complaint against Genuino, his sons Erwin and Anthony Genuino, former PAGCOR SVP for Corporate Communications and Services Department Edward King, and Los Banos, Laguna City Administrator Miraflor Tado. The five respondents have been charged with malversation raps for purportedly conniving to divert public funds for the Genuinos’ electioneering activities in 2010.

AFTER filing plunder and anti-graft charges against former PAGCOR Chairman Efraim Genuino and his cohorts, the ex-PAGCOR chief and four others now face malversation raps in relation to the 300 metric-ton of rice donated by a Japanese firm to the Philippine government in 2008.

“Our investigation and records show that Genuino and four others connived to misappropriate more than P3.1 million worth of public funds and property from PAGCOR by diverting part of the rice donation to bolster the political ambitions of his two sons during the 2010 elections,” said PAGCOR President and Chief Operating Officer Jorge Sarmiento. The complaint-affidavit was filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) today.

Sarmiento said the filing of charges against Genuino and four others is part of the new PAGCOR management’s thrust to bring to justice those who have committed unlawful acts against the state-owned gaming firm in the past.

Genuino, four others face malversation charges for using rice donation to typhoon victims in electioneering activities
COO Sarmiento answers questions from members of the media during the filing of a malversation case against Genuino and four others at the Department of Justice. Looking on is PAGCOR’s Chief Legal Counsel, Atty. Jay Santiago.

“The P3.1 million questionable transactions in this case may pale in comparison to the P186 million plunder case PAGCOR recently filed against Mr. Genuino. Gusto lang naming patunayan sa mga kababayan natin na sa PAGCOR ay walang malaki o maliit na halaga pagdating sa paghahanap ng katotohanan at hustisya,” Sarmiento pointed out.

Also named respondents to the case are Edward King (former PAGCOR Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications and Services Department); Mai Mai Tado (a top executive of Trace Computer College owned by the Genuinos. She is now City Administrator of Los Banos, Laguna); Anthony Genuino and Erwin Genuino (sons of the ex-PAGCOR chief who joined the mayoralty bid in Los Baños, Laguna and Makati City, respectively).

In June 2008, Genuino was able to secure a donation of 300 metric tons of Thai rice from Aruze Corporation, one of the proponents for PAGCOR’s Entertainment City Project in Manila, for the victims of typhoon “Frank” which hit the Philippines and wrought damage.

To facilitate the entry of rice into the Philippines and to avail of exemption from taxes and duties, the donation was made in favor of Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). A Deed of Donation dated July 8, 2008 was executed by Aruze Corporation through its Chairman Kazuo Okada, in favor of the DSWD through then Secretary Esperanza Cabral.

Genuino, four others face malversation charges for using rice donation to typhoon victims in electioneering activities
COO Sarmiento swore to his complaint affidavit in the presence of Department of Justice (DOJ) Prosecution Attorney Monica Liwag on July 18, 2011.

The Office of the President of the Philippines issued Memorandum Order 36 Clearance stating that “the rice donation was intended to augment the prevailing rice shortage and to assist the victims of typhoon “Frank”. The taxes and import duties for the said rice donation were deemed automatically appropriated and considered as expenditure of the government”.

On July 15, 2008, the donated rice to DSWD was withdrawn from the port and placed under the custody and full control of PAGCOR and delivered to a private warehouse in Cabuyao, Laguna. On the same day, the former PAGCOR Board approved a budget of P1.35 million to be used for the forwarding, storage and brokerage fees of the donated rice.

A few days after, PAGCOR came out with a press release about the formal turnover of said rice donation, which was witnessed by former National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) Chairman Gilbert Teodoro, Jr.

Based on records, only 6,500 of the 10,000 donated sacks of rice were given to the DSWD for distribution to calamity victims. The balance of 3,500 sacks were withdrawn, delivered and ended up at the PAGCOR warehouse in Imus, Cavite.

Sometime September 2008, respondent King coordinated with the National Food Authority (NFA) to request that the remaining bags of rice be transferred to the NFA warehouse in Cavite in order to protect the donated rice from pest infestation. The request was granted and on October 2008, the remaining donated bags were transferred to the NFA warehouse.

Upon learning that the prolonged storage might lead to the rice’s deterioration, PAGCOR entered into a barter agreement with a private rice mill wherein the donated rice was replaced with a cheaper variety of rice. From that point onwards and up to the rundown to the 2010 national elections, several hundreds of bags of the rice were repacked in sacks bearing the images of Ton and Erwin Genuino as electoral candidates.

The repacked bags of rice were turned over to and received by Trace Computer College, owned by the family of former PAGCOR Chairman Genuino, and various individuals representing Genuino’s sons. These sacks were eventually distributed during the election period to bolster the candidacies of the Genuino brothers.

“What Mr. Genuino did is a clear case of diverting the officially donated rice to DSWD/Philippine Government to his two sons’ 2010 electoral campaigns when they ran for elective public offices”.

According to the PAGCOR President-COO, the total cost of rice released to the Genuino brothers was P1.40 million while the expenses incurred for logistics such as shipment, trucking, storage and repacking amounted to P1.69 million.

Now, the billion peso question... SINO ANG KUMITA?

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