Ex-PAGCOR official says 'Baler' project above board

by Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 14 2011 11:25 PM | Updated as of Jun 15 2011 07:25 AM

MANILA, Philippines -  Former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (PAGCOR) senior vice-president of corporate communications and services department Dodie King has welcomed the graft and malversation of public funds cases filed against him by the new PAGCOR management.

He said there was nothing illegal with PAGCOR's sponsorship of the "Baler" movie produced by Erwin Genuino, Bida Foundation, and Viva Films since it was approved by the former board of directors of PAGCOR.

In a tepehone interview, King said there was nothing irregular about the transaction as providing sponsorships for foundations that do public service is part of PAGCOR's mandate.

On the issue on conflict of interest, King said it that has nothing to do with him and it is up to the Genuinos to explain themselves. Efraim and Erwin Genuino, as well as Rafael Francisco were both officers of PACGOR and Bida Foundation. Erwin Genuino was the co-producer of the movie.

King said he was just an employee who merely followed orders. He added that he was not the approving authority of the project. 

He said PAGCOR has a resident auditor from the COA who never found anything questionable about the transaction.

However, PAGCOR's current chief legal counsel, lawyer Jay Santiago, said it was precisely the COA report that pointed out the insufficient documentation submitted to PAGCOR for the disbursement of funds.

The justification on how the film will serve the public good was also insufficient, Santiago added.

He said the disbursement did not follow proper procedure as the voucher for the P26.7-million sponsorship had a notation saying, "board approval to follow."

He said this proves that the December 16 board approval that the former management filed was merely antedated.

Santiago said it was just one of several underhanded deals that they were able to unearth in PAGCOR.

He said they will be filing the necessary cases in the future regarding the transactions.

Efraim Genuino has not replied to ABS-CBN News' request for an interview.

Meanwhile, Viva Films' Vic del Rosario, one of the producers of Baler, said he hasn't received the papers so he has nothing to say and has no idea about the details of the graft charges.