• Seven former Baseco officials face P220-M plunder charges

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    THE Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) filed with the Office of the Ombudsman plunder and graft and corruption charges against seven former officials of the sequestered Bataan Shipyard and Engineering Co. Inc. (Baseco).

    Named respondents in the said case are former directors Capt. Proceso L. Maligalig (Ret), who also served as president; Agustiniana Avelino, treasurer; Wilmar Lucero, Maj. Gen. Rene Cruz (Ret), and Gloria Cortez, all were former directors. Also included in the charge are former Baseco legal counsel John Jay Consunji and finance officer Socorro Santos.

    The case was filed after a review of the company’s financial transactions from January 2007 to June 2011 by the new Baseco management which showed that said officials’ compensation during that period alone reached P220 million, with Maligalig getting as much as P99 million.

    The other officials who received excessive compensation, and have fraudulent cash advances and unaccounted bank withdrawals during the same period were: Consunji, P18,170,961. 32; Santos, P15,770,802.50; Avelino, P8, 503.253.00; Lucero, P7,877, 108.00); Cruz, P2,645,873.00; and Cortez, P2,215,624.00.

    The PCGG disclosed that originally13 officials were to face the charges, but six of them have agreed to return the money and settle their accountabilities.

    Records showed that Baseco started collecting a total of P19 million from the six other former officials who agreed to settle their liabilities.

    It also showed that Baseco was incorporated in August 1972 as a shipbuilding and dry-docking corporation.  During the regime of former president Ferdinand Marcos, Alfredo Romualdez acquired 95 percent of Baseco with the knowledge and tacit approval of other incorporators who acted as dummy directors, officers, nominees or agents of Mr. Marcos.

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