More legal woes await GenuinoBy Marlon Ramos
Philippine Daily Inquirer
The former chairman of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor), Efraim Genuino, should brace himself for more legal problems in the next few days.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Wednesday said the Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to resolve two of three criminal cases that the state-owned gaming firm filed against Genuino more than a year ago.
On Tuesday, Pagcor filed a plunder case in the Office of the Ombudsman against Genuino and two other ex-Pagcor officials for the alleged overpricing in the procurement of the coffee served free to casino players.
“Of the three cases (against Genuino et al.), the two are already submitted for resolution,” De Lima told reporters Wednesday.
She said the resolution on these cases, which are among the high-profile cases handled by the state prosecution service, would hopefully be released soon.
But De Lima could not say if the DOJ panels that were created to conduct the preliminary investigation into the Genuino cases had found probable cause to file the charges in court.
Sought for comment, prosecutor general Claro Arellano said the DOJ had “until Friday” to issue the resolution of the cases.
In June 2011, the state-run gaming firm filed the first complaint at the DOJ against Genuino, his son Erwin and 25 other individuals for allegedly funneling P26.7 million of Pagcor funds to finance the film “Baler” in 2008.
A week later, Pagcor and ex-senator Nikki Coseteng filed graft charges at the Ombudsman’s office against Genuino et al. for the alleged misuse of a P30-million allocation for the Philippine Aquatic Sports Association.
In yet another plunder complaint, Genuino and Johnny Tan were among the respondents accused of using P186 million in Pagcor funds to finance the 2010 election bid of the party-list group Bida, of which Genuino’s daughter, Sheryl, and Tan were the first and second nominees.