After 2 years, Euro generals' case moves

Posted at 08/13/10 1:26 AM

MANILA, Philippines - In a bid to dispel allegations it has been delaying the resolution of the case, the Office of the Ombudsman has made a big leap in resolving the so-called "Euro Generals" scandal.

A team of investigators led by Assistant Ombudsman Joselito Fangon has recommended the filing of graft charges against former Philippine National Police (PNP) comptroller Eliseo de la Paz and his colleagues in connection with his arrest at the Moscow International Airport in October 2008.

Russian authorities found de la Paz and his wife in possession of undeclared cash worth 105,000 euros, which was also above the limit allowed for people to transport cash out of the country. 

The investigators also recommended the filing of similar charges against former PNP Director General Avelino Razon Jr. and several top officials including Samuel Rodriguez, Orlando Pestaño, Tomas Rentoy III, Elmer Pelobello, Romeo Ricardo, Emmanuel Carta, Ismael Rafanan, German Doria, Silverio Alarcio Jr., and Jaime Caringal.

De la Paz had claimed he had advanced the excess funds from the intelligence budget of the PNP. No less than former Interior and Local Government Secretary Ronaldo Puno had knowledge of the so-called contingency fund, he said.

Based on their findings however, investigators said  the amount came from “private funds.”

The team said the PNP officials violated section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

The team is also anchoring its recommendations on an alleged violation of Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code, or malversation of funds.

The team is also recommending the filing of several criminal and administrative charges against several of the respondents.

The charges are: falsification of public documents, prolonging of performance of duties, violation of the passport law, obstruction of the apprehension and prosecution of criminal offenders, perjury, and violation of the New Central Bank Act.

The recommendations have been submitted for preliminary investigation.

Once probable cause is established, concurrence will be sought from the Ombudsman.

De la Paz said he has yet to receive a copy of the report. However, he welcomed the development and will respond to the accusations at a proper time. – with reports from Atom Araullo, ABS-CBN News