Ex-PAGCOR officials face raps over 'Baler'

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2011 12:04 PM | Updated as of Jun 15 2011 02:57 AM

MANILA, Philippines (1st UPDATE) - The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) filed cases of malversation of public funds and violation of the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act against 13 former PAGCOR officials and 14 other individuals before the Department of Justice (DOJ) for the disbursement of public funds amounting to P26.7-million for the production of the movie "Baler" in 2008.

Named as respondents are:

 

  • former PAGCOR chairman and chief executive officer(CEO) Ephraim Genuino;
  • Rafael "Butch" Francisco, former president and chief operating officer;
  • former Board member Manuel Roxas,
  • former Board member Philip Lo, and,
  • former Board member Gamaliel Cordoba (now Commissioner of the National Telecommunications Commission);
  • Jose Benedicto, former PAGCOR chief-of-staff;
  • Rene Figueroa, former executive vice-president;
  • Edward "Dodie" King, former senior vice-president for Corporate Communications and Services Department;
  • Carlos Bautista, Jr., former vice-president for Legal;
  • Esther Hernandez, former vice-president for Accounting;
  • Valente Custodio, former Assistant vice-president for Internal Audit;
  • Jesselyn Durante-Quizon, former assistant manager for Legal; and,
  • former Executive Assistant Erwin Genuino, son of Ephraim Genuino.

Other respondents include: 

  • BIDA Foundation official Mario Cornista,
  • Rodolfo Soriano Sr.,
  • Emilio Marcelo, Philip Beltran,
  • Luis Guerrero,
  • Olive Soriano,
  • Jesus Velmonte,
  • Carol Matsuda,
  • Los Banos, and,
  • Laguna vice-mayor Josephine Sumangil-Evangelista.

Officials of VIVA Communications, Inc. were also charged, namely:

  • Vicente del Rosario Jr, chairman and CEO;
  • Marcia Gina Lopez, corporate secretary;
  • Hermie Go, associate producer and road manager;
  • Ma. Theresa Santiago, comptroller and accountant; and,
  • Tony Magtoto, sales and distribution representative.

The charges against 27 respondents were in connection with the joint movie production of "Baler" between VIVA and Bida Productions where production cost amounted to P40-million.

PAGCOR said under the joint movie production agreement between the two production outfits, Bida Productions was supposed to shoulder 2/3 of the total production cost which amounts to P26.7-million while the remaining 1/3 was for the account of VIVA.

The PAGCOR complaint alleged "there is a direct  connection between PAGCOR and BIDA as can be gleaned from the association of the same personalities in both organizations."

"Ephraim Genuino, Butch Francisco, Dodie King, and Jose Benedicto were all top-ranking PAGCOR officials who are also known officials of Bida Foundation. Meantime, Mario Cornista, Rodolfo Soriano, Sr. and Emilio Marcelo who were all officers of Bida were also hired as PAGCOR consultants during the term of Genuino," PAGCOR said.

Erwin Genuino, for his part, was Executive Producer of "Baler," while at the same PAGCOR and Bida officers.