• Ex-PCGG chief to appeal
    2 graft convictions on leased vehicles

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    Former Chairman Camilo Sabio of the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) appealed his two graft convictions in connection with PCGG’s two lease deals for service vehicles totaling P12 million.

    Sabio, in a 10-page motion for reconsideration lodged before the Sandiganbayan’s First Division, argued that the P5.39 million and P6.73 million lease deals of the PCGG with the United Coconut Planters’ Bank (UCPB) Leasing and Finance Corporation (ULFC) did not have to undergo the mandatory requirements of the procurement process and implementation set forth in the procurement law because ULFC was a wholly-owned subsidiary of the government-sequestered UCPB of which Sabio was one of the Board of Directors.

    The P5.39 million lease deal was inked in April 2007, while the P6.73 million transaction was undated.

    Sabio then noted that the state-run Commission on Audit (COA) also did not have any adverse findings on the two deals. He cited a July 1, 2009 certification issued by State Auditor 4 Emmanuel Bago which said that there was no Special Audit Report relative to the vehicles leased by the PCGG from 2007 to 2008. There were also no funds appropriated to the PCGG for the purchase of these same vehicles in 2007 and 2008, prompting the PCGG to resort to a lease-to-own option to acquire them.

    The same July 2009 certification by Bago also stated that the last time PCGG used lease-to-own option was in April 25, 2000, when two motor vehicles acquired during that time have been used by the PCGG for seven years.

    “These [facts]are why while the legality and other matters relevant to the procurement were revised and audited by the resident auditor assigned to the PCGG, the auditor found nothing illegal in the transactions or that it was done in bad faith,” Sabio said in his pleading.

    Sabio said that he was even praised and commended by former president Gloria Arroyo and her Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita “for having faithfully compiled with his mandate and accomplished his mission during his watch and leadership [in PCGG]from 2005 to September 2010.”

    Sabio, however, admitted that “the subject service vehicles had already been returned and accepted in good order and condition.”

    PCGG is a state-run office tasked to recover the ill-gotten wealth of late President Ferdinand Marcos and his family.

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