By Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki
Plunder and malversation raps have been filed before the Office of the Ombudsman against former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Cristino Naguiat Jr. in relation to the reportedly anomalous disbursements of their confidential and intelligence funds.
Then-Assistant Vice President Valente Custodio filed the complaint against Naguiat, who was held accountable for the disbursement of P254,845,561 and P62,820,000 from Pagcor’s Intel Fund, purportedly for the “Save the House” (STH) Project.
When it started back in 2010, STH started with an approved budget of P67,121,589.70 only. But STH continued through 2012 and 2013 with funds amounting to almost five times its original budget.
Because of the P254-million disbursement, the Commission on Audit (COA) issued an Audit Observation Memorandum (AOM), a Notice of Suspension, and a Notice of Disallowance dated October 23, 2013.
For the P62-million disbursements, the COA issued an AOM dated May 10, 2013 and a Notice of Suspension dated November 21, 2013.
In all of these COA issuances, Custodio said Naguiat was unable to properly justify and liquidate the disbursements.
“The failure of the respondent to immediately account for the disbursements despite repeated demands of the COA created a presumption he appropriated, took, misappropriated or consented, or through abandonment or negligence, permitted another person to take them,” the complaint read.
“The respondent is ultimately responsible to account for all the disbursements considering that the same are purportedly Intelligence Funds or “Intel Funds” which are by their very nature confidential and under the control of only a specific person,” it added.