Genuino wants more time to answer malversation rap

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 09 2011 01:06 PM | Updated as of Aug 10 2011 12:28 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Embattled former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation(PAGCOR) Chairman Efraim Genuino has asked for more time to submit his counter-affidavit on malversation charges filed by incumbent officials of the state-owned gaming firm.

Genuino's lawyer, Benjamin Santos, who attended today's preliminary investigation hearing on the complaint at the Department of Justice(DOJ), said his client could not submit his counter-affidavit because he has yet to receive a copy of the complaint.

Genuino was given until August 22, the next scheduled hearing, to submit his counter-affidavit.

Genuino, his sons Anthony and Erwin, and 2 others were slapped with a P3.1-million malversation complaint in connection with a 300-metric ton rice donation by a Japanese firm to the Philippine government intended for distribution to victims of typhoon "Frank" in 2008.

Respondents were accused of conniving to misappropriate the funds "by diverting part of the rice donation to bolster the political ambitions of his two sons during the 2010 elections."

Anthony Genuino and Erwin Genuino ran in the 2010 elections as Los Banos, Laguna mayoralty bet and Makati City mayoralty bet, respectively.

The said donation of rice from Aruze Corporation, one of the proponents for PAGCOR's Entertainment City Project, was made in favor of the Department of Social Welfare and Development(DSWD) through then Secretary Esperanza Cabral in order to avail of exemption from taxes and duties.

PAGCOR's complaint said of the total 10,000 sacks of donated rice, only 6,500 ended up with the DSWD for distribution to typhoon victims while 3,500 were "withdrawn, delivered and ended up at the PAGCOR warehouse in Imus, Cavite;" PAGCOR further claimed the remaining 3,500 sacks were replaced with a cheaper variety of rice by virtue of a barter agreement entered into by PAGCOR with a private rice mill.

The total cost of rice released to the Genuino brothers was pegged at P1.40-million while expenses incurred for logistics(shipment, trucking, storage and repacking) reportedly amounted to P1.69-million.

PAGCOR said the sacks of rice were repacked and turned over to and received by Trace Compute College, and various individuals representing Genuino's sons, and allegedly eventually distributed during the election period to bolster the candidacies of the Genuino brothers.

Other respondents in the complaint are Edward King, former PAGCOR Senior Vice-president for Corporate Communications and Services Department; and Mai mai Tado, an executive of Genuino-owned Trace Compute College and now administrator of Los Banos, Laguna.