Ramirez to respect court decision

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Incoming Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William “Butch” Ramirez said on Wednesday that he would respect the decision of the Sandiganbayan on a case filed against him in the Office of the Ombudsman.

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“The case is now with my lawyer and I cannot say anything,” Ramirez, 66, told The Manila Times in a phone interview. “I will just respect whatever the decision of the court [Sandiganbayan]. I’m just an accessory there.”

Last June 3, the Office of the Ombudsman filed graft charges against former Philippine Amusement Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) chairman Efraim Genuino and other former PAGCOR officers plus Ramirez as well as Philippine Amateur Swimming Association Inc. President Mark Joseph for their alleged involvement in the anomalous release of P37 million funds for the training venue of swimmers when the Philippines hosted the Southeast Asian Games in 2005. The funds allegedly went to Genuino’s Trace Aquatic Center in Biñan in Laguna.

President Rodrigo Duterte reappointed Ramirez, a former PSC chairman, to his old post last week.

Recently, the Sandiganbayan has cleared Ramirez of graft charges in the alleged involvement of PSC in the anomalous P2.329 million purchase of cycling equipment used during the 2007 SEA Games in Thailand.

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