BACOLOD CITY: Former head of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Eric Loretizo, denied appropriating public funds for his personal use as alleged by 35 counts of malversation the Ombudsman filed against him.
Loretizo, now executive assistant of Negros Occidental Gov.Alfredo Maranon Jr., said in a text message to The Manila Times that he “has yet to receive the said documents. But let me state not a single cent was malversed. Funds being referred to in the complaint were used for my official functions as PSC commissioner from December 2007 until July 2010.” The Office of the Ombudsman filed charges against Loretizo for allegedly failing to liquidate P2.8 million in cash advances for his travel and other expenses for the years 2006 to 2011.
Loretizo was charged with seven counts of failure to render accounts and 31 counts of malversation of public funds, totaling 38 charges. A P1.2-million bail was recommended for his temporary liberty – P6,000 for each count of the failure to render accounts and P40,000 for each count of malversation of public funds. The Ombudsman said Loretizo received the cash advances for his official travels to various destinations to attend sports competitions, but failed to liquidate his travel expenses within 30 days from his return in case of local travel, and within 60 days in case of foreign travel, as required by the Commission on Audit. Loretizo said some of the travel expenses referred to are for travel expenses of the softball teams from Bacolod City to the United States that he facilitated.