International edition
June 17, 2021

Plunder complaint filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption

Ex-Pagcor officials sued

Ex-Pagcor officials sued
An anti-corruption group filed Monday, October 24, a plunder complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against former officials of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).
Philippines | 10/24/2016

An anti-corruption group filed Monday, October 24, a plunder complaint before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against former officials of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor).

T

he Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) claimed Pagcor's lease of the Army Navy Club building in Manila was anomalous since the property is owned by the City Government of Manila.

Sued were former Pagcor chairman Celestino Naguiat and former board of directors, namely: Jose Tanjuatco, Enriquito Nuguid, Eugene Manalastas, George Sarmiento, Milagros Pauline Visque, Ramon Jose Jones, Romeo Cruz Jr., Annalyn Zohlman, and Kathleen Delantar.

The complaint also named as respondent Manuel Sy, owner of Vanderwood Management Corporation (VMC).

The Pagcor Bids and Awards Committee (BAC) awarded the lease contract to Sy's firm for P3.2 million on March 2015.

The Office of the Supervising Auditor (OSA) and the Commission on Audit (COA) have found the award of the lease contract to VMC "highly irregular and anomalous," as according to them, the subject space in the contract which will supposedly be used as a gaming facility as stated in the bid, is non-existent.

Quoting COA report, the VACC's complaint affidavit said the subject lot in the contract between Pagcor and VCM is owned by the city of Manila.

Also, it said the lot was found within the Museo ng Maynila Complex, formerly the historic Army and Navy Club, situated in the Roxas Boulevard.

The VACC said the Pagcor officials and the VMC acted in conspiracy and connivance with the BAC officials to approve the anomalous contract.

The group also alleged that the public money paid by Pagcor to the VMC—totalling P234 million for 12 months in advance of rent and six months security deposit—was irregular.

It has also called the disbursement a "raid in the public funds."

VACC chair Dante Jimenez, named complainant in the case, also added that the initial payment of Pagcor to VMC, was "for nothing" as the space is non-existent and not legally owned by Sy.

The VACC said they will file a supplemental affidavit and additional evidence to include other persons as respondents to the case, including Manila mayor Joseph Estrada.

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