Ombudsman orders graft raps vs 'Euro Generals'

Posted at 04/01/13 6:23 PM

MANILA - Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered the filing of graft and other criminal charges against the so-called "Euro Generals," led by retired P/Dir. Gen. Eliseo dela Paz.

Morales ordered in her 86-page resolution on March 26 the filing of charges against the former Philippine National Police officials for supposedly using intelligence funds for their travel expenses to Russia in 2008.

Also named in the decision, besides dela Paz, are: P/Dep. Dir. Gen. Emmanuel Carta, P/Dep. Dir. Gen. Ismael Rafanan, P/Dir. Romeo Ricardo, P/Dir. German Doria, P/Dir. Jaime Caringal, P/Chief Supt. Orlando Pestaño, P/ Sr. Supt. Tomas Rentoy III and P/Sr. Supt. Samuel Rodriguez.

The Ombudsman, however, dismissed the charges against former Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno, retired P/Dir. Gen. Avelino Razon, Jr., P/Chief Supt. Joel Ma. Alvarez, retired P/Dep. Dir. Gen. Edgardo Acuña, P/Supt. Elmer Pelobello, retired P/Dir. Silverio Alarcio, Jr. and private respondents Evita Caringal and Cynthia Versoza for lack of probable cause.

Dela Paz was indicted for three counts of violation of Art. 220 of the Revised Penal Code or technical malversation; four counts of violation of sec. 3(e), and one count of Sec. 3 (a) of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act; while Carta, Rafanan, Doria, Caringal were ordered charged for violating Sec. 3(e) of RA 3019.

Ricardo, on the other hand, was charged with two counts of violation of Sec. 3(e) of RA 3019. He was also included as additional accused in the case filed in 2011 against dela Paz before the Sandiganbayan, for violation of Art. 237 of the RPC (Prolonging the Performance of Duties and Powers).

Rentoy, Pestaño, and Rodriguez, on the other hand, were charged with three counts of violation of Art. 220 of the Revised Penal Code (Technical Malversation), three counts of violation of Sec. 3(e), and one count of violation of Sec. 3 (a) of Republic Act (RA) No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act).

Morales said: "The manifest partiality and evident bad faith of respondent Ricardo can be easily gleaned from his act of recommending himself and his co-respondents Carta, Rafanan, Doria, Caringal, and Dela Paz, as participants to the Interpol General Assembly, despite that he and his co-respondents were not qualified to attend said assembly because they were due to retire within one (1) year from the date thereof.”

She also said Ricardo should be included as additional accused in the charge sheet filed against dela Paz for Violation of Art 237 of the RPC because it was “Ricardo who recommended that respondent dela Paz be included in the trip to Russia” which enabled dela Paz to prolong the performance of his duties as an officer of the PNP.

She said a total of P10 million in intelligence funds were used by the PNP delegates to the 77th Interpol General Assembly in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Morales' decision comes after dela Paz and his wife filed a motion for reconsideration before the Sandiganbayan on the finding of probable cause by the previous Ombudsman's decision.