Ex-PNP comptroller surfaces

By Michael Punongbayan, The Philippine Star

Posted at Sep 29 2012 08:20 AM | Updated as of Sep 30 2012 02:35 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Former Philippine National Police (PNP) comptroller Eliseo dela Paz appeared before the Sandiganbayan yesterday to assure the anti-graft court and prosecutors of the Office of the Ombudsman that he has not gone into hiding.

His wife and co-accused Maria Fe, however, failed to show up, prompting magistrates to order her to report to the clerk of court of the graft court’s Fifth Division on Monday.

Dela Paz, assisted by his counsel, explained that his house at No. 32 San Felipe Street, San Beda Village in Quezon City is being repaired, that is why couriers of the Ombudsman found the house empty when they tried to serve summons last month.

He said he and his wife are now living at another house in Tierra Pura Subdivision, also in Quezon City, where they intend to stay for the next two years.

Dela Paz and his wife were indicted for their alleged involvement in the so-called Euro Generals scandal after Russia authorities caught them in possession of 105,000 euros cash or P6.9 million cash at the Shremetyevo International Airport in Moscow in October 2008.

The two accused, together with several other police officials and their wives, were in Russia to attend a conference of the International Police (Interpol).

The Office of the Ombudsman is reinvestigating the case, considering that almost all of the other PNP officials who were earlier probed were absolved.

Sandiganbayan justices led by Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo admonished Dela Paz for not informing the anti-graft court of his new whereabouts, considering that he is free on bail on charges of violating Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) laws and he is also the subject of a reinvestigation being conducted by the Office of the Ombudsman.