Cruz: No surprise if Naguiat goes unpunished, too | Inquirer News

Cruz: No surprise if Naguiat goes unpunished, too

By: - Reporter / @mj_uyINQ
/ 06:32 PM February 28, 2012

MANILA, Philippines—A retired Catholic bishop on Tuesday said he was already expecting Malacañang to leave Cristino Naguiat Jr., chair of the state-owned Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp., unpunished just as the Palace had done with other erring officials close to President Benigno Aquino.

Archbishop Emeritus Oscar Cruz said it would no longer be a surprise to him if the Palace leaves it up to Naguiat to decide whether he should heed calls to quit his post or go on leave while being investigated for allegedly receiving luxurious perks from a Japanese gambling magnate.

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Crus said Naguiat would be spared from any punishment, just like the other erring officials, belonging to Aquino’s alleged favorites or “KKK,” which stands for “kaibigan, kaklase, kabarilan” (friend, classmates, shooting buddies).

“I am already expecting that because it’s not only Naguiat whom they are supposed to be investigating. They also ‘investigated’ this DVD pirate buyer and super gun carrier but nothing happened,” Cruz said on Church-run Radio Veritas Tuesday.

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The retired archbishop was referring to Aquino’s political adviser Ronald Llamas, who was recently photographed buying some P2,000 worth of pirated movie DVDs at a mall in Quezon City. While Malacañang has “admonished” Llamas over the incident, it allowed the erring official to keep his job.

Llamas also came under fire late last year after his vehicle, then being used by his security aides, figured in an accident on Commonwealth Avenue and yielded a Czech-made CZ-858 Tactical semiautomatic assault rifle during a police investigation.

“Now, they are investigating Naguiat and I think nothing’s going to happen there unless he himself would resign out of ‘delicadeza’ (propriety),” said Cruz, who called for Naguiat to step down last week.

Cruz warned that such kind of toleration the President was giving his supposed KKK was not doing the country good and may even spark a “massive loss of confidence to and doubt” on his administration.”

“It will have an effect (on) his government because that kind of toleration will slowly destroy his credibility as defender of truth and justice, like termites feeding on wood,” said Cruz.

Naguiat is a friend of Aquino. They were also classmates at the Ateneo de Manila.

Malacañang is investigating the Pagcor chief after he was named in a US lawsuit as among Pagcor executives who allegedly accepted $110,000 worth of hotel accommodations and illegal payments, courtesy of Kazuo Okada, a Japanese gambling magnate who is planning a $2-billion casino in Manila.

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TAGS: Catholic Church, government and politics, Religion
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