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6th plunder case filed vs Gloria Arroyo over PCSO intel funds

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It’s raining plunder suits for former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Yet another case was filed against Arroyo on Tuesday at the Office of the Ombudsman over the alleged misuse of P325 million in intelligence funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) during her term.

Also named in the complaint for plunder, malversation of public funds and violation of the antigraft law were former Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita, former Commission on Audit (COA) Chair Reynaldo Villar, former PCSO General Manager Rosario Uriarte and former PCSO Directors Sergio Valencia, Jose Taruc, Raymundo Roquero, Ma. Fatima Valdes and Manuel Morato.

This is the sixth plunder case filed against Arroyo and the first following President Aquino’s appointment of a new Ombudsman, former Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.

But it is the second plunder case stemming from the controversy over the alleged misuse of the PCSO intelligence funds.

“This is the first test we are submitting to the Ombudsman,” said Jaime Regalario of the group that calls itself Kilusang Makabayang Ekonomiya.

Regalario, retired Brig. Gen. Danilo Lim and Risa Hontiveros of the party-list group Akbayan are the complainants in the case. They were accompanied by former Special Prosecutor Dennis Villa-Ignacio and lawyer Lorna Kapunan in filing the complaint.

The complainants told reporters that they were confident of the strength of the case because they had gathered documentary evidence to fill a suitcase.

Unmet requirements

In the complaint, Lim, Regalario and Hontiveros said the respondents did not meet the requirements for the release or disbursement of intelligence funds except for the one requiring the approval of the President.

The other requirements were that a provision should be included in the budget for intelligence funds; the funds should be used for confidential activities; 80 percent of the funds should be used for field operations; and quarterly reports should be submitted to the Senate President, House Speaker and COA chair.

The complainants said all these requirements were not met.

They said Uriarte would make a “template” request for intelligence funds, which Arroyo or Ermita would approve automatically.

The complainants also said the intelligence funds were given through checks issued in favor of Uriarte.

Uriarte was thus made the proponent and disbursing officer of the money by the PCSO board of directors—a violation of a COA circular, according to the complainants.

They said Uriarte violated the procedure on liquidation and audit of intelligence funds because there was no monthly or periodic liquidation of cash advances, and no vouchers and supporting papers were forwarded to the COA.

They also said Uriarte implicitly admitted to not submitting the required reports and other documents when she said at the recent Senate inquiry into the issue that she had transmitted the reports and documents pertaining to the PCSO intelligence funds to then President Arroyo.

Irrelevance

The complainants cited data from Sen. Franklin Drilon, who said the PCSO intelligence funds in 2009, amounting to P116.4 million, were spent against bomb threats, kidnapping, destabilization and terrorism, which were irrelevant to the agency’s mandate and functions.

They said Uriarte also admitted to using the intelligence funds for blood money for the families of persons killed by overseas Filipino workers and for relief operations for victims of natural disasters.

But the complainants said Uriarte did not explain where the rest of the intelligence funds went, and merely said Arroyo knew what was to be done with the money.

They said it could be concluded that the unaccounted funds were illegally amassed by the respondents because the latter were the only persons in control of and responsible for the money.

In including COA Chair Villar as respondent, the complainants said he did not issue any credit advice to prohibit the further drawing of cash advances on the PCSO funds despite the absence of liquidation reports when he assumed office.

They said Villar did not issue any notice despite reports from his subordinates that the funds were utilized in the months before the 2010 elections.

Quality of evidence

Mr. Aquino’s allies in the House of Representatives on Tuesday said the conviction of Arroyo or any other government official charged with a criminal case would depend not only on Ombudsman Morales but also on the quality of evidence and prosecutors handling the case.

“The new Ombudsman has a reputation for uprightness, quick action and so forth, so we expect she will [act with dispatch in disposing of cases brought to her office],” Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. said at a press briefing.

In another press conference, Deputy Speaker Lorenzo Tañada III said the target of the administration’s anticorruption campaign was not just Arroyo but also other officials who had raided government coffers.

Tañada also clarified that Morales’ appointment as Ombudsman was no guarantee that Arroyo and others charged would be convicted.

“I don’t think the President has any specific order to go after GMA (Arroyo),” Tañada said of Mr. Aquino’s State of the Nation Address on Monday. “What the President mentioned was that [Morales] should do her job based on the evidence presented.”

The lawmaker added: “She (Morales) is there to evaluate the evidence. Now it’s the duty of the special prosecutors to prove beyond reasonable doubt that indeed anyone who has committed graft and corruption is guilty.”

Deputy Majority Leader Federico Romero Quimbo said the President wanted to make sure that the evidence against any government official charged would stand the test of legal procedure by appointing a person like Morales.

Integrity, independence

Quimbo said Mr. Aquino did not categorically say in his State of the Nation Address that Arroyo was behind all the corruption during her administration, but that he wanted to make sure that government people would think twice before engaging in corrupt acts because in her work, Morales had shown probity, integrity and independence.

Dasmariñas City Rep. Elpidio Barzaga Jr. said getting a conviction for Arroyo should not be a barometer of Morales’ performance as Ombudsman.

“If the case is not really winnable, we can’t win the case, in the same manner that if there is no evidence to establish probable cause, I do not think the Ombudsman would file a case,” Barzaga said. With a report from Cynthia D. Balana


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Tags: Malversation of Funds , Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo , PCSO intel funds , Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) , Rosario Uriarte


  • Anonymous

    Someone really miscalculated thinking she will never be brought to justice because she thinks so highly of herself a been there done that personality treating every Filipino like muchachos and muchachas. Boy, did she underestimated the will of the people. I hope one of the plunder petitions filed against her will stick like a tuku’ sending her to club med in Munti.

    • Anonymous

      So she’ll be called “Munting Preso ng Munti”?

      • Anonymous

        She used to wield enormous power under the tag – Xena The Lubao Warrior.  With her power limited to few bottles of brandy every night, chances are, over at the club med Munti – she will be known as a new member of Snow White dwarfs. 

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ANRHUYZ4XRUXS6RMNHEOO7HN74 SSC

    pinagdadasal ko na sana bumuti ang kalagayan niya, after her surgery,huwag na huwag sana may mangyaring masama sa kalagayan niya,para may lakas siya harapin ang tabang na kaso dapat niyang kaharapin,kasi alam natin lahat ang pilipino ay masyadong maawain at madamdanin kung wala na iyong tao, nakakalimutan na ang lahat ng kasalanan na ginawa niya sa bayan.

  • Anonymous

    Sige lang, sampahan na kaagad ng kaso. Give her her day in court. Sa isang demokrasya, kahit na obvious na na may korupsyon, mahalaga pa rin ang tinatawag na “day in court.”

    Sana lang huwag ito makalimutan ng mga pilipino–kahit ano pang ahensya yan–PAGCOR, PCSO, MILITARY CORRUPTION O GHOST EMPLOYEES sa QUEZON CITY HALL…mag-ingay tayo…patuloy tayong magsalita, mag-blog at mag-comment para malaman ng mga kinauukulan na GALIT na tayo sa korupsyon…SAWA na tayo sa Magnanakaw at mandarambong. At kahit sabihin nilang “it does not exist,” (tulad ng pag-deny ni Joy Belmonte sa Ghost employees ng QC Hall) huwag tayo kaagad maniwala. Maniwala lang tayo pag nakita nating BUMABABA ang gastusin ng bawat ahensyang may korupsyon (by the way, sa QC Hall, patuloy pa rin na ang payroll na 800,000 kada BUWAN kada KONSEHAL kahit na na-expose na sila. Patuloy pa rin na ang empleyado ng mga konsehal ay mahigit 100 bawat isa sa kanila. Aba, tinalo pa ang bilang ng staff ng isang US Congressman na hanggang 20 lang. Panginoon ko, makonsensya sana itong mga Pinuno na ito LALU na at Kapartido nila si PNOY.)

    Huwag natin kalimutan ang mga bagay na ito at gawin nating personal ang lahat ng uri ng pagnanakaw at pang-aabuso; nag-iingay ako PARA sa mga batang namamalimos, para sa mga gurong ni wala chalk or libro para magturo; para sa mga factory worker na halos ubos ang sahod dahil sa liit nito; para sa mga ordinaryong pulis at sundalo; para sa ordinaryong trabahador na nagtitiis sa MRT araw araw kahit anong sikip, ulan o abala para lang magkatrabaho…Mag-ingay tayo…magalit tayo…huwag natin kalimutan. Hindi iisang tao lang ang apektado ng korpusyon..LAHAT TAYO.

  • Anonymous

    “They said it could be concluded that the unaccounted funds were illegally amassed by the respondents because the latter were the only persons in control of and responsible for the money.”

    So only think/guess that those in power would have taken it. They’d need more paperwork or witnesses to really make this case work.

    As an example, it’s like saying that since Person B and Person C did not take it, it must be Person A!

  • Anonymous

    “They said it could be concluded that the unaccounted funds were illegally amassed by the respondents because the latter were the only persons in control of and responsible for the money.”

    So only think/guess that those in power would have taken it. They’d need more paperwork or witnesses to really make this case work.

    As an example, it’s like saying that since Person B and Person C did not take it, it must be Person A!

  • Anonymous

    More Arroyo Anomaly….
    1.- P50-million bribe to FG for the president’s veto of two franchise bills
    2.The additional funding led to a 41-percent spike in advertising expenses, from P76.129 million in 2008 to P107.420 million in 2009, which went mostly to ads for Arroyo’s achievements.
    3.The report said the PIA received from the Department of Budget and Management a notice of cash allocations amounting to P344.789 million, even though only P222.488 million was appropriated for it under the national budget.
    4.- Denial of pork barrel funds to Malacanang’s political enemies
    5.- Praises for Jovito Palparan, alleged mastermind of extra judicial killings of militants
    6.- Removal of govt bodyguards for former pres and Arroyo critic, Cory Aquino
    7.- Appointment of manicurist as a member of the board of Pag-Ibig
    8.- Appointment of gardener as deputy of the Luneta Park Administration.
    9.- Midnight appointment of an Arroyo lapdog, Renato Corona, as SC Chief Justice

    – 200+ other illegal midnight appointments
    10.- Mikey Arroyo’s undeclared properties in California
    11.- Pardon of controversial convicted criminals like Ninoy’s murderers
    12.- EO 464; requiring Cabinet members to seek presidential clearance before testifying in Congress hearings

    13.- Promise (on Rizal Day) to not run for the presidency in 2004

    14.- “Vote Buying” by giving away Philhealth cards

    15.- Taxpayers’ money for her giant billboards and and PCSO tv campaign ads[/b]

    16- Appointment of Ben Abalos, a staunch GMA ally, as COMELEC chair
    17.- Mikey Arroyo’s importation of 32 thoroughbred horses from Australia worth P384 million.
    18.Former First Gentleman Mike Arroyo used 2 choppers 16 times, son Mikey 69
    19.PNoy: PAGCOR spent P1B on coffee

  • Anonymous

    Arroyo corruption and many more….

    1. NBN ZTE Scandal

    2. Millions of bribe money to Congressmen and Governors (October 2007)

    3. Cheating in 2004 Elections (Hello Garci)

    4. Joc Joc Bolante Case (Fertilizer Scam, P728 Million)

    5. Jose Pidal Bank Account (Unexplained Wealth, P200 Million)
    6. Nani Perez Power Plant Deal ($2 Million)

    7. Use of Road User’s Tax for Campaigning

    8. Billion Peso Macapagal Boulevard (Overprice of P532 Million)

    9. Juetengate? (Illegal Numbers game kickbacks)

    10. Extra Judicial Killings
    11. Arroyo Moneys in Germany (Exposed by Senator Cayetano)
    12. General Garcia and Other Military Men

    13. Billion Peso Poll Automation contract to(Mega Pacific) (P1.3 Billion)

    14. Northrail Project($503 Million)

    15. Maguindanao Results of 2007 Elections (Zubiri, Bedol)

    16. NAIA-3

    17. Venable Contract (Norberto Gonzales)

    18. Swine Scam (Exposed by? Atty. Harry Roque
    19. GLORIA Arroyo son hidden assets in united states
    20.EURO GENERAL’S
    21.CALAMITY FUND SCANDAL.
    22.the C-5 road controversy — Senator Manuel Villar
    23.P550-million worth of funds from the Overseas Workers’ Welfare Administration (OWWA).
    24 P780-million LWUA funds-Prospero Pichay
    25 Bishop’s SUV-Gloria Pandak Birthday gift
    26 Arroyo linked in P325M lotto intelligence fund
    27 Arroyo got P200M in kickbacks from govt projects-Zaldy Ampatuan
    28.P200.41 billion or $4.6 billion in Malampaya royalties from 2002 to May this year.
    29.LACSON ACCUSED FG MIKE ARROYO OF SELLING 3 REFURBISHED HELICOPTERS TO PNP AT P105 MILLION EACH

    30. 600,000 metric tons of Rotten rice imported from India.Kishore Hemlani, an Indian trader allegedly close to Arroyo, reportedly bagged the P9.5 billion contract for the rice importation.

  • Jon Trejo

    we understand why the palace is praying for her speedy recovery…
    so she can face these charges, get convicted then rot in jail…

  • Anonymous

    kasuhan ng kasuhan sa korte para ma convict at makulong. labas lahat ebidensya . wag sa media puro dada at dagdag lang sa gulo. paano pag di mapatunayan at di maconvict ano gagawin. sa lansangan ulit at baka kakutsaba ang kongreso at administrasyon. pakulong din ung nag akusa para patas

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WK3JTU5UQSQEBM7XBNFO4KJ7OE muddy

      @rantyreyes – Porket nag-akusa papakulong mo? Kung ganun wala nang maglalakas loob mag-aakusa kahit nasa tama sila. Kung ni-rape ba kapatid mong babae wala na cyang karapatang magsampa ng kaso dahil di cya siguradong mako-convict ang perpetrator. Mag-isipisip ka naman.

  • Anonymous

    .. as we say in Germany, “…en dutche icht cgru ixcht stafebngh brgrug!!!” (when it rains it pours!)

  • Anonymous

    Go get her! Let’s pray na gumaling na agad si Gloria so that she can have her day in the court. Kudos to Hontiveros , Lim and the other guy. Justice to the filipinos must be served. 



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