Pagcor money showered on Los Baños | Inquirer News

Pagcor money showered on Los Baños

By: - Reporter / @MRamosINQ
/ 03:12 AM August 08, 2011

While Johnny Tan and his wife’s companies were the favored suppliers of the previous Pagcor board, Los Baños in Laguna was the favored town, according to Cristino Naguiat Jr., chair of Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor)

Los Baños received millions of pesos in cash gifts and other assistance from the state-owned gaming firm from 2006 until last year during the term of Pagcor chair, Efraim Genuino.

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Genuino’s son is now the mayor of the town, which is nestled at the foot of Mount Makiling and is home to a University of the Philippines campus and the International Rice Research Institute.

The town is also famous for its delicious buko pie, fresh carabao milk products and natural hot spring resorts.

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Naguiat said his predecessor approved the donation of vehicles and various financial grants to the local government of Los Baños and organizations of residents after Genuino’s son, Anthony, had started his campaign in the mayoral race a few months before the May 2010 elections.

Conflict of interest

“It’s very clear that there’s conflict of interest (in giving out the donations) because his (Genuino) son was already campaigning,” Naguiat told the Inquirer.

He said records showed that Genuino approved in January last year the previous Pagcor board’s financial grant of a total of P5 million to residents of Los Baños.

On Jan. 25, 2010, Pagcor gave P3 million to one Rufino Anilao, president of Samahan ng mga Magulang ng Mag-aaral sa Mababang Paaralan ng Bagong Silang. The amount was intended for the construction of a bridge for residents of the upland community in Makiling.

On the same day, Pagcor donated P2 million to Pleasant Village Homeowners’ Association represented by its president, Violeta Cordova, for “implementation of flood-control projects.”

Van, multicabs, motorbikes

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In addition, the state-run gaming company turned over a multipurpose van to the town police station.

Through then Mayor Cesar Perez, the municipality received 12 multicab vehicles and five motorcycles with sidecars in February and June 2010, respectively, “to be used by the barangay patrols to maintain peace and order.”

Perez, a known ally and friend of Genuino, is now the vice governor of Laguna.

Naguiat said Tan’s Kilton Motor Corp. purportedly supplied some of the vehicles given to Los Baños.

In 2008, Perez obtained a donation of almost P1.7 million for the purchase of an ambulance. He also received two multicabs and two motorcycles.

As requested by then UP Los Baños Chancellor Luis Rey Velasco, Pagcor turned over five vehicles to the state university.

In January 2009, Genuino approved a P3-million financial assistance to UPLB’s College of Agriculture, endorsed by dean Domingo Angeles, to help “the urban poor through vegetable production in a home-garden project.”

At the same time, Perez received a P10-million grant for the construction of a “new Los Baños government center which shall also be developed as the gateway to the Science and Nature City of the Philippines.”

The money was supposedly taken from then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s social fund.

Other financial assistance included P90,000 for “indigent patients” from Los Baños and close to P2 million to Perez for the “improvement of installed streetlights” in 2006.

Trace Computer College

The year before, the Genuinos opened a branch of their school, Trace Computer College, in Los Baños. It was also at the time that an Olympic-size swimming pool was built in the school at government expense for the Southeast Asian Games.

“We’re now consulting with our lawyers to find out if those donations made in 2010 violated the election ban. If they did, then we might file a case for electioneering,” Naguiat said.

In a previous interview, Genuino denied accusations that he and his children used Pagcor funds to bolster their respective political bids.

He claimed that he and his family did not pocket “even a single centavo” from Pagcor, which he headed for nine years until June last year.

“All those allegations are baseless and lies aimed at demonizing me and the past administration,” Genuino said.

Aside from Anthony, another son of Genuino, Erwin, ran for mayor in Makati City in 2010 but lost to Jun-jun Binay, son of Jejomar Binay, then Makati mayor and now Vice President.

Genuino’s daughter, Sheryl, was the first nominee of the Bida party-list group, which failed to win a House seat in last year’s elections.

Johnny Tan, who denied being a close associate of Genuino, was the group’s second nominee.

He and his wife, Carlota Cristi Manalo-Tan, won several contracts from Pagcor that gave them millions of pesos in profits.

Carlota Tan’s Promolabels Specialty Shop earned P700 million for supplying Figaro coffee to patrons of seven government-run casinos from 2001 until June 2010. The coffee, given free to patrons, was paid for by Pagcor.

She is an incorporator of Big Shot Bingo Corp. that obtained a license from the previous Pagcor board to operate nine bingo parlors and five electronic bingo games in 12 malls in Metro Manila and several provinces.

Last week, the Bureau of Internal Revenue filed tax evasion charges against her.

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TAGS: electioneering, former Pagcor chair Efraim Genuino, Johnny Tan, Laguna, Los Baños, Pagcor board, Pagcor chair Cristino Naguiat Jr, Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor), Trace Computer College
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