• Devanadera, 18 others charged with graft


    The Office of the Ombudsman has filed separate graft charges at the Sandiganbayan against former Government Corporate Counsel Agnes Devanadera and several others over a deal between a company and the Philippine National Construction Corporation (PNCC), a government-owned and -controlled corporation.

    Also charged with one count each of graft were former chairman and COO Arthur Aguilar; former president and CEO Ma. Theresa Defensor and former board members Ottomama Benito, Enrique Cuejilo Jr., Roy Eduardo Lucero, Fermin Lusung Sr, Jeremy Parulan, Marvin Paule, and Antonio Vilar.

    According to the Ombudsman, the terms of the compromise agreement between PNCC and Marubeni Corporation’s successor-in-interest, Radstock Securities Limited, were “contrary to law.”

    The PNCC, in the agreement, “recognized its purported liability to Marubeni in the amount of at least P6.185 billion and agreed to pay Radstock the settlement amount through the transfer of 19 real properties owned by the government, assignment of PNCC common shares, and assignment of half of PNCC’s six percent share in the gross toll revenue of the Manila North Tollways Corporation from 2008 to 2035.

    The Ombudsman said the terms were illegal because “[t]he PNCC Board had no power to compromise the settlement amount” and the PNCC cannot assign toll fees to private entities.

    The PNCC also cannot transfer government real property without public bidding and compliance with property transfer laws, it added.

    “PNCC’s assignment of substantially all of its assets to Radstock was prejudicial to its other creditors, including the National government,” the Ombudsman said.

    The Ombudsman also filed graft complaints against PNCC board chairman Renato Valdecantos; former president and CEO Rolando Macasaet, and former board members Braulio Balbas Jr., Romulo Coronado, Basilio Cruz Jr., Victor Pineda, Erwin Tanunliong, Hermogenes Concepcion Jr., and Raymundo Francisco in connection with their alleged involvement in the PNCC’s acknowledgement/recognition of JPY and USD loans supposedly incurred from Marubeni Corporation.


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