More respondents named in complaint vs ex-Pagcor officials

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The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) on Monday filed a supplemental complaint at the Department of Justice (DOJ) against former officials of the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) over the anomalous lease of a lot located along Roxas Boulevard in Manila.

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The case stemmed from the lease of a lot where the historic Army and Navy Club building was built. The lot, owned by the City Government of Manila, was leased by Vanderwood Management Corporation (VMC) to Pagcor under then chairman and chief executive officer Celestino Naguiat.

Naguiat and several others were charged with plunder and graft.

The VACC said Pagcor paid VMC P234 million for a year’s rental, a deal which was disallowed by the Commission on Audit. VACC chairman Dante Jimenez said VMC could not lease the property because it belongs to the city government of Manila.

In the original complaint, also named respondents were former Pagcor directors Jose Tanjuatco, Enriquito Nuguid, Eugene Manalastas and George Sarmiento; former bids and awards committee (BAC) members Milagros Pauline Visque, Ramon Jose Jones, Romeo Cruz Jr., Annalyn Zohlmann and Manuel Sy, the owner of the corporation tasked to build the new Pagcor office.

In the amended complaint, two more respondents were added — former Government Corporate counsel Raoul Creencia and chairman of Technical Working Group Jose Cristopher Manalo 4th.

Jimenez said Creencia was included in the charge sheet because he said that the contract of lease between VMC and Pagcor may be given due course “despite clear violation of the provision of Republic Act 9184 (the Procurement Act).”

“Clearly, without such opinion, other respondents in this case would not have resolved to continue with the contract knowing that the same was entered into illegally,” the VACC said.

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