Five former PAGCOR officials have been added to a March complaint against one-time Chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr alleging the questionable disbursement of over Php300 million in funds in 2012 and 2013.
The additional respondents have been named in a revised complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman almost one month to the day since Valente Custodio, a former Assistant Vice President of the Philippine gaming regulator, filed the original complaint against Naguiat Jr.
According to Philippines news site Rappler, the officials include former Finance and Treasury VP Estela Ramos, Assistant VP Talavera Virginia, Assistant VP for Accounting Vidal Cabigon Jr, Assistant VP for security Byron Tabangay and Security Department Officer-in-Charge Michael Bailey.
The complaints relate to the supposed disbursement of Php254,845,561 (US$4.9 million) in 2012 and Php62,820,000 (US$1.2 million) in 2013 via 48 checks, said at the time to be for a 2010 PAGCOR project called Save the House. Those figures, well above the original Save the House budget of Php67 million, drew attention from the Commission on Audit and ultimately saw the disbursements suspended. Neither Naguiat Jr nor Custodio were able to justify the disbursements.
The original complaint against Naguiat Jr in March read, “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 of negligence, permitted another person to take them.”