Marcoleta: P1-B moved from Korean banks to poll exec's accounts

P1-B moved from foreign banks to poll exec’s offshore accounts – Marcoleta

/ 02:34 PM July 09, 2024

Witnesses to the alleged signature campaign for the amendments of the 1987 Constitution were questioned at Tuesday's Senate hearing why they were hiding their faces. 

Sagip Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta. (File photo from FACEBOOK)

MANILA, Philippines — At least P1 billion worth of funds were transferred from different banks, including those based in South Korea, to 49 offshore accounts supposedly linked to a Commission on Election (Comelec) official.

Sagip Party-list Rep. Rodante Marcoleta made this revelation on Tuesday, in a press briefing in Quezon City.

ADVERTISEMENT

The lawmaker, however, refused to divulge the identity of the Comelec official and his or her ranking.

FEATURED STORIES

But he noted that there were certain developments in the poll body’s automated election system (AES) procurement when fund transfers occurred.

“Some reports coming to the office of this representation […] There are four countries involved in the payment hubs: Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Caribbean and North America […] There are 18 banks and 49 number of accounts,” Marcoleta said. 

“Why do you need 49 offshore bank accounts if the money involved here is not so huge? Well, first of all, why do you need 49 banks, offshore accounts?” he asked.

“The most intriguing part here, ladies and gentlemen, is that these accounts are traceable to one Comelec official,” he claimed.

“This is a work in progress. You must be patient with me and you have to bear with me because we’re still verifying most of these accounts. But I will tell you that […] the total offshore bank account worth $15.2 million or almost P1 billion,” he said.

Among the examples given by Marcoleta was a money transfer allegedly done on June 22, 2023, where a deposit worth $148,000 was made by a certain Stephen Schultz/Kyong Baek from Standard Chartered Bank and Jong Ro Main Branch in South Korea, to Standard Chartered Bank in Singapore.

ADVERTISEMENT

According to Marcoleta, this happened alongside Comelec’s declaration of the past vote counting machines (VCMs) as unserviceable.

“What is the significance of this covering period, 22 June 2023 to 22 March 2024? I will show you five accounts originating mainly from Korea. You should note that Miru System is from South Korea […],” the lawmaker pointed out.

“These are money transfers vis-a-vis certain milestones,” he stressed. “Look at the date  June 22, 2023. The depositor is a Juan Stephen Schultz slash Kyong Baek. The originating bank is Standard Chartered Bank, Jong Ro Main Branch, Korea,” Marcoleta said.

“The recipient offshore account is account number 5530198142761, Standard Chartered Bank, Singapore. The amount is $148,000,” he went on.

“Then, what is the milestone? Meaning to say, what is the event held alongside this? In June 2023, Comelec declared the previously procured and government-owned VCMs as unserviceable,” he recalled.

Last May 5, 2023, Comelec announced it was searching for new VCMs amid plans to upgrade to VCMs capable of combining the current optical mark reader (OMR) technology and direct recording electronic (DRE) or touch-screen capabilities.

READ: Search on for new vote counting system 

Marcoleta then said on August 15, 2023, a certain Hyun Doo Yoon deposited Woori Bank in Seoul, South Korea to a Bank of Shanghai, China account.

“The date we are looking at is August 15, 2023. The depositor is a certain Hyun DoYoon. Originating bank – Woori Bank, Seoul, South Korea,” he noted.

“Recipient offshore account. Account number 7300083602150. Bank of Shanghai, China […] The amount – $157,350,” he said

“The corresponding milestone is on July 21, 2023 – Comelec approved the terms of preference for the 2025 national elections, but the TOR was approved without convening the Comelec Advisory Council,” he made the identification.

“This is in violation of the Omnibus Election Code,” Marcoleta observed.

He also mentioned other bank transfers that supposedly correspond to Comelec developments:

  • August 23, 2023: Depositor Dae Seong Han. Originating bank – KB Kookmin Bank, Seorin Dong, Seoul, Korea. Destination – HSBC Bank, Hong Kong. Amount: $285,900. Alleged milestone: Comelec en banc issued an order directing its law department to comment on the petition for disqualification of Smartmatic.
  • September 13, 2023: Depositor Hwan Lee. Originating bank – Shinhan Bank, Yeoui-Daero, Seoul, Korea. Destination – HSBC Bank, Hong Kong. Amount: $157,488.
  • September 13, 2023: Depositor Heejin Kang. Originating bank – KEB Hana Bank, Itaewon, Seoul, Korea. Destination – OCBC Singapore. Amount: $188,540. Alleged milestone: Comelec begins market survey on potential bidders for 2025 midterm polls.
  • October 18, 2023: Depositor Stephen Shultz/ Kyong Baek. Originating bank – Standard Chartered Bank, Jong Ro Main Branch, Korea. Destination – Standard Chartered Bank Singapore. Amount: $295,280. Alleged milestone: Comelec disqualifies Smartmatic on allegations of bribery.

Marcoleta also revealed other transactions, but he admitted that the verification of these transactions is still ongoing.

INQUIRER.net contacted Comelec Chairperson George Garcia after Marcoleta’s briefing, and in reply, the official sent copies of a letter he wrote to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

In the letter to the NBI, Garcia requested for an investigation regarding the allegations that he has offshore accounts, which were spreading online.

READ: Garcia to NBI: Probe Marcoleta’s bribery raps, ‘it’s a demolition job’ 

Several lawmakers and political parties have expressed concerns over Comelec’s alleged preference for Miru, which bagged the contract for Comelec’s Full Automation System with Transparency Audit/Count (Fastrac).

This deal includes the supply of 110,000 automated counting machines, election management systems, consolidation and canvassing systems, ballot printing, ballot boxes and other peripherals.

READ: Comelec, Miru ink P17.99 B pact for automated 2025 polls 

Last April 18, Aksyon Demokratiko member and former Caloocan City lawmaker Edgar Erice asked the Supreme Court (SC) to stop Comelec from implementing its P17.9 billion contract with Miru.

According to Erice, the contract violates Republic Act No. 9369 or the Automated Election Law, because Miru will be trying a hybrid system which was supposedly never been done in another country before.

READ: SC asked to stop Comelec – Miru deal for 2025 polls 

Cagayan de Oro City 2nd District Rep. Rufus Rodriguez and Rizal 2nd District Rep. Emigdio Tanjuatco III issued several statements in the past, urging the Comelec to reuse the VCMs to save public funds.

READ: Comelec should reuse Smartmatic VCMs for 2025 polls, says lawmaker 

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Tanjuatco said the P8 billion-worth of government funds meant to be used for new VCMs can be used for other programs that can address high prices of basic goods.

TAGS: Comelec, Marcoleta

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.