Sandiganbayan junks ex-PAGCOR chief's appeal on graft and malversation cases

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 19 2023 07:27 PM

Former PAGCOR chair Efraim Genuino was found guilty by the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division of graft last March 3, 2023. Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division on Wednesday denied the appeal of former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) chairperson Efraim Genuino for the reversal of the court’s refusal to acquit him of his graft and malversation cases.

In a resolution, the court said the motion for reconsideration of Genuino is denied for lack of merit.

The ex-PAGCOR chief is facing 20 malversation and 19 graft cases for the use of PAGCOR funds, among others, in purchasing P26.7 million tickets for the film “Baler.”

In an earlier manifestation filed by Genuino before the court, it was argued that the Supreme Court had determined that the funds disbursed by PAGCOR were private corporate funds.

But the Sandiganbayan insisted that the Supreme Court decision relates only to the grave abuse committed by the Commission on Audit in conducting an audit of PAGCOR’s account beyond the five percent franchise tax and 50 percent government share in its gross earnings.

“The Supreme Court did not make any pronouncement whether the financial assistance granted to private entities was violative of the public purpose requirement under the PAGCOR’s Charter,” the Sandiganbayan said.

In the resolution of the anti-graft court dated Jan. 19, 2023, the Sandiganbayan refused to acquit Genuino and insisted that the arguments he raised may only be determined after the consideration of the totality of evidence submitted by both the defense and the prosecution.

“We need not belabor on the other issues raised by accused-movant lest we become repetitive. The Court is not inclined to embark on another extended discussion of the same issue again,” the court said.

Last March 3, Genuino was also found guilty beyond reasonable doubt by the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division of one count of graft involving P37 million in funds for swimmers in the 2012 Olympics.


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