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Sports official charged with qualified theft


By Rey Panaligan

Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee (PHILSGOC) Executive Director Ramon “Tats” Suzara has been charged with qualified theft for reportedly pocketing over P6.7 million in corporate funds of the Philippine Superliga, Inc. (PSL).

Aside from Suzara who used to head the PSL, also named in the complaint about alleged violation of Article 310 of the Revised Penal Code was former corporate treasurer and finance director Donaldo Jose “Don” Caringal.

The complaint was filed before the Taguig City prosecutors’ office and a copy was furnished to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The PSL operates the country’s first semi-professional corporate club volleyball league.

The complaint alleged that Suzara and Caringal issued 11 checks payable to their names or to cash from PSL’s corporate funds from December 2015 to 0ctober 2016.

PSL new president and authorized representative Dr. Adrian Paolo “Ian” Laurel said that two of the checks amounted to P4 million and P2 million payable to Caringal and three other checks amounting to P400,000 payable to Suzara.

“The withdrawals of the aforementioned amounts are unauthorized and were not disclosed to the Board of Directors of the corporation. It was only after PSL secured the services of an external auditor that the foregoing anomaly was discovered,” the complaint stated.

“There is no board resolution authorizing the release of cash advance to any of the Board of Directors or Officers of the corporation. There is also no board resolution authorizing Caringal to withdraw from the corporation the amounts of P4,000,000 and P2,000,000,” it stressed.

At the same time, Laurel alleged in his complaint that Suzara and Caringal even tried to convince him to hire an external auditor who could be under their control.

Laurel said the PSL has issued a demand letter for Suzara and Caringal to explain the unauthorized withdrawal of funds and to return the money. But he said neither of them responded.

“Since both respondents, Suzara and Caringal withdrew directly from the account of the corporation without any valid authority, each of them abused the said relationship with the corporation. They abused the high degree of confidence given to them through their positions in the corporation. Hence, the taking of the cash of the corporation was done with grave abuse of confidence,” the complaint stated.

The complaint identified Suzara as president and chief executive officer of SportsCore Event Management and Consultancy Inc. , and a known organizer of local and international tournaments.

It also said that Suzara was the former administrator of the Philippine Sports Commission complex, and is currently the marketing and development committee chairman of the FIVB and Asian Volleyball Confederation.

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