PACC's Belgica accused of graft for allegedly using post to gain Duty Free ties

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 23 2020 02:59 PM

PACC's Belgica accused of graft for allegedly using post to gain Duty Free ties 1
Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica appears before a Senate hearing on Aug. 11, 2020. Henzberg Austria, Senate PRIB/File 

Belgica says allegations fabricated, meant to undermine anti-corruption efforts

MANILA - Duty Free Philippines Corp (DFPC) workers have filed criminal and administrative complaints against Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission Commissioner Greco Belgica before the Office of the Ombudsman.

In a sworn affidavit, DFPC employees Alexander Sablan, Ernesto Mangalindan, Romeo Silva Jr., Eric Oracion, Rizalino Santos, Nilo Duarte, Joaquin Vibal, Francis Daco and Carlito Ardales accused Belgica of using their cases to develop connections with DFPC management for his personal gain.

The complainants asked the Ombudsman to investigate Belgica for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act as well as administrative charges of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to the service and gross inexcusable negligence.

The employees said Belgica was once seen donating goods to calamity victims from a grocery chain through DFPC.

“Ginamit niya ang aming kaso para magkaroon ng koneksyon sa mga malalaking negosyante sa Duty Free upang gamitin niya sa kaniyang pansariling interes at ang katunayan nito ay ang mga Puregold groceries na kaniyang pinamigay sa mga tao,” the complainants said.

(He is using our case to gain connection to big businessmen in Duty Free to use for his personal interest. Proof of this are the Puregold groceries that he distributed to the public.)

In 2018, the complainants filed plunder and administrative cases against DFPC officials for their supposed labor-only contracting policy.

They also said they entrusted with Belgica documents and other pieces of evidence on other alleged irregularities at DFPC such as anomalous contracts with concessionaires, supply delivery agreements and technical smuggling.

They lamented that the recommendation issued by Belgica was to “simply” file charges against “public officials,” dropping the names of DFPC officials.

The complainants also said the law firm of Belgica’s brother returned to them the P130,000 fee they paid for the filing of the complaint against DFPC officials.

“Naging pabaya at binalewala na ni Comm. Greco Belgica ang aming kaso na inilapit sa kanya, gamit ang pakunwaring adbokasiya nila laban sa korapsyon kaya siguro sinauli nila ang pera namin,” the complainants said. 

(Comm. Greco Belgica neglected the cases that we referred to him using their fake advocacy against corruption. That's probably why they returned our money.)

Belgica said he felt betrayed by the DFPC employees whom he and his brother’s law firm had helped.

“Binigay namin ang lahat ng hiningi nilang tulong higit pa sa hinihingi ng aming tungkulin. Sa lahat ng government officials na nilapitan nila, ako lang ang tumulong sa kanila,” he said in a statement. 

(We gave all the help they asked, which was more than what our duty called for. Out of all the government officials they had approached, I was the only one who helped them.) 

He claimed that the complainants were sponsored by the group of people who filed cases against him in connection with his entrapment operations before the Ombudsman.

“This group has been trying to rally more people to fabricate cases and allegations in order to undermine the Anti-Corruption initiatives of the Administration,” Belgica said.

Belgica said he would file counter charges against the complainants.

“To tell you the truth, we've been kind, patient and gracious to them. But by besmirching my reputation that I dearly value and have protected with my life, I will be filing counter charges and pray hard that they all go to jail," he said.