MANILA, Philippines - Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) Chairman Cristino "Bong" Naguiat is accused of using his own service vehicle to fetch his son from school, an ABS-CBN report revealed Monday.
A PAGCOR insider told ABS-CBN News Naguiat allows the use of his service vehicle with plate number NQM 923 to fetch his son and nanny at the Ateneo de Manila Grade School.
A video provided by the PAGCOR insider showed a certain Lino Constantino, identified as a PAGCOR employee, driving the vehicle and fetching Naguiat's son and nanny in Ateneo.
The Land Transportation Office said NQM 923 is a security plate issued to PAGCOR on April 27, 2010. The security plate is different from the regular red plates issued to government vehicles.
The source said Naguiat is implementing a "double standard" in the use of service vehicles in the agency.
Last September 5, 2012, the agency suspended for 6 months Mr. Roberto G. Duenas, branch surveillance officer of Casino Filipino-Angeles, for "unauthorized use, operation, possession or lending of company property for personal use." Duenas was allegedly suspended for using the PAGCOR vehicle several times for personal use.
PAGCOR spokesperson Maricar Bautista admitted that the agency owns the vehicle and that it is Naguiat's son in the video. However, she said Naguiat cannot be compared to Duenas since their situations are different.
"Kaya din naman ginagamit itong vehicle at meron namang security dahil dala ito ng threat na dahilan naman sa pwesto ni chairman," Bautista said.
Civil Service Commission chairman Francisco Duque said unauthorized use of red-plated service vehicles is punishable with suspension for 1-6 months for the first offense and dismissal for the second offense. He said the rules apply to all government officials including the head of agencies.
"Ang ahensya dapat ang nagbabantay. Ang may primary jurisdiction diyan ay ang head ng agency," he told ABS-CBN's Umagang Kay Ganda.
He said all trips by a government-owned vehicle should have a trip ticket, which indicates the destination, time left and time returned to the agency.
He also said his office can write to Naguiat about the infraction but noted that it is up to the Office of the President if it will take action against the PAGCOR chief.
Courage president Ferdinand Gaite said Naguiat's case shows PAGCOR's double standard especially since low ranking employees like Duenas were penalized immediately.
He said fetching Naguiat's son from school is not part of the official use of the vehicle. He also noted that some government officials try to skirt the rules by switching the license plates of their service vehicles or covering them up.
"Ito ay pera ng mamamayan. Hindi ito pwedeng gamitin for personal gain or personal use. Paulit-ulit nating sinasabi, dapat i-ensure na ang pera ng bayan ay mapupunta sa mamamayan, hindi yung gagamitin nila para sa sarili," he said.
Gaite said that as head of the agency, Naguiat should be setting the example for all PAGCOR employees.
"Let's not even mention the previous infractions of Naguiat. This only shows how important leadership is in government. How can you make others follow you if you cannot even follow the simplest of rules, to use government funds only for official use?" he asked.