Philippine Superliga files another qualified theft complaint vs ex-president

Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 11 2019 03:39 PM

MANILA - Semi-professional volleyball league organizer Philippine Superliga, Inc. has filed a P6.76 million qualified theft complaint against its former head who is currently an official of the Philippine Southeast Asian Games Organizing Committee.

PSL president and board member Adrian Paolo Laurel, representing the group, lodged the complaint against Ramon “Tats” Suzara over alleged unauthorized disbursement of funds from 2015 to 2016.

Suzara is the executive director of the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee.

Also named as respondent is PSL’s former treasurer/finance director Donald Jose Caringal.

In his complaint before the Taguig City prosecutor’s office filed late last year, Laurel claimed Suzara caused the issuance of 3 checks in his name and 6 checks payable to cash.

Caringal, on two separate instances in October 2016, had 2 checks issued in his name.

Both Suzara and Caringal signed the checks.

The amounts ranged from P15,000 to P4 million, amounting to a total of P6,762,946.

“The withdrawals of the aforementioned amount are unauthorized and were not disclosed to the Board of Directors of the corporation,” Laurel alleged, noting that there were no board resolutions authorizing the release of cash advances nor authorizing withdrawals.

“It was only after PSL secured the services of an external auditor that the foregoing anomaly was discovered,” he added.

Laurel noted that prior to the discovery of the unauthorized disbursements, PSL’s board of directors had pressed Caringal to submit financial reports for 2015 and 2016 but he was unable to submit an “accurate and complete” financial report, prompting the organization to hire an external auditor.

Laurel further alleged that Suzara and Caringal had approached him to actively push for an external auditor who can be “controlled or dictated upon.” He refused.

The audit showed the issuance of the 11 checks were not reflected in the financial records.

In November 2018, PSL asked Suzara and Caringal to explain the disbursements/withdrawals but the two failed to comply.

The complaint alleged that Suzara and Caringal gravely abused the company’s confidence by virtue of their positions, aggravating the case to qualified theft.

In July last year, PSL also announced filing a complaint for qualified theft with the National Bureau of Investigation against Suzara and Caringal over “irregular and unauthorized disbursements of company funds.”

The crime of qualified theft under Art. 310 of the Revised Penal Code carries a penalty of up to 12 years imprisonment.