Plunder rap vs Genuino over P1B coffee deal

Posted at 07/16/2012 4:15 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A year after President Aquino exposed the anomaly in his 2011 State of the Nation Address, the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) will finally file a plunder case over the P1 billion coffee deal signed by ex-PAGCOR chief Efraim Genuino.

Speaking on ANC's Headstart on Monday, PAGCOR chairman Cristino Naguiat Jr. said the new plunder case is on top of previous plunder and anti-graft charges against Genuino et al over the sponsorship of the "Baler" movie and questionable transactions that benefited the BIDA Foundation.

He said the new plunder case will be filed tomorrow.

"The lawyers already made a case out of it and they will be filing a case," he said.

A PAGCOR investigation earlier showed Promolabels Specialty Shop bagged concessionaire contracts to put up Figaro coffee shops in seven Pagcor-operated casinos from 2001 to 2010 for P700 million.

Naguiat said PAGCOR is now spending only P40 million a year for coffee, instead of P100 million a year during the previous leadership.

"We are servicing 3 times more than what they were servicing. We are serving the best Filipino beans," he said.

The PAGCOR chief noted that the Department of Justice is already pursuing a malversation case against Genuino's 2 sons, Erwin and Anthony, for using part of a large rice donation from Japan to bolster their candidacies in 2008.

This is apart from separate graft and corruption cases filed by Pagcor against Genuino et al for alleged malversation of P34 million in aid for Filipino athletes.

Bottled water

Meanwhile, Naguiat also answered a brewing controversy over Pagcor's purchase of P8 million worth of bottled mineral water for 3 casino branches last year without public bidding.

The PAGCOR chief said he has decentralized purchasing for the big branches for several years, which led to the purchases.

He justified the purchase of the water without public bidding, saying that the supply contract was for the whole year.

"When I learned about that, we will follow what [the Commission on Audit] is saying that we should go on public bidding then let's see kung ano ang magiging problema nun. There was no issue about overpricing," he said.