The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) on Monday filed plunder and graft complaint against a ranking official of the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC) in connection with the P234-million Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) funds anomaly during the Aquino administration.
In its supplemental complaint-affidavit, VACC has added DOTC Undersecretary Raoul Creencia as respondent in the complaint against former Pagcor chairman Cristino Naguiat and 10 others in connection with an allegedly anomalous lease deal with a private company.
Creencia’s name was included in the complaint in his capacity as chief government corporate counsel during the previous administration. Aside from Creencia, VACC also included in the complaint another former official, Pagcor’s technical working group chair Jose Christopher Manalo IV.
Aside from plunder and graft, VACC said Creencia, Manalo and the other officials should also be held liable for violation of Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Act and Executive Order No. 423 which prescribes procedures and guidelines for government procurement.
Other respondents to the case include PAGCOR chairman Atty. Jorge Sarmiento, board members Jose S. Tanjuatco, Enriguito M. Nuguid, and Eugene G. Manalastas; members of the Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) Milagros Pauline L. Visque , Ramon Jose E. Jones, Romeo R. Cruz, Jr. , Annalyn Zoglmann, lawyer Kathleen G. Delantar; and VMC president Manuel B. Sy.
The complaint stemmed from the lease contract that Pagcor awarded to Vanderwood Management Corporation (VMC) in 2015 which the Commission on Audit (CoA) said was “highly irregular and anomalous.”
The 6,500-square-meter property, which was subject of the least contract according to VACC, is owned by the Manila City government. The property is within the portion of the Museo ng Maynila Complex, formerly the Army and Navy Club.
Complainants said the property was leased by the city government to Oceanville Hotel and Spa Corporation sometime in January 2014.
“The amount of P234,000,000 was paid to VMC representing 12 months advance rental and six months security deposit at P13,000,000 per month pursuant to the lease contract, despite the fact that the premises to be leased was not existing at the time of the execution of the contract,” the complaint read.
“Considering that there was no leased premises to speak of, the disbursement of P234,000,000 was irregular and, therefore, disallowable in audit pursuant to Commission on Audit Circular No. 2012-003 dated October 29, 2012,” it added.
VACC founding chairman Dante Jimenez urged the DOJ to immediately act on their complaint and conduct preliminary investigation.
“We urge the DOJ to now create a panel of prosecutors to study if there is probable cause for plunder. We believe that the DOJ under this administration will not sleep on this case – unlike what the Ombudsman did in the many cases we filed there,” he said.
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