Former PLM president faces graft raps

Posted at 08/12/2014 6:05 PM

MANILA - Former officials of the Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila and the National College of Physical Education, Inc. (NCPE) face charges for graft, the Office of the Ombudsman said Tuesday.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, in a 7-page joint order, denied the consolidated motion for reconsideration filed by former PLM president Benjamin Tayabas, College of Physical Education Recreation and Sports (COPERS) Dean Priscilla Minas, faculty member Enrique Conlu, and NCPE President Alejandro Dagdag, Jr.

Tayabas, Minas, Dagdag Jr. and Conlu face criminal indictments for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act (RA 3019) before the Sandiganbayan, the Ombudsman said in a press statement.

It added that Tayabas and Dagdag, Jr. also face criminal indictments for violation of Section 3(h) of RA 3019.

In September 2005, a memorandum of agreement (MOA) was renewed between PLM and NCPE, a private foundation, for the use of the university’s facilities and manpower from 2005 to 2007 for P60,000.

However, the Commission on Audit (COA) said the MOA was irregular because it was entered into without proper approval from the Board of Regents as required under the PLM Charter and without the benefit of public bidding as required under Republic Act No. 9184 (Government Procurement Reform Act).

According to the resolution, NCPE was incapable of renewing the MOA as its certificate of registration had already been revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2003. In addition, it had no business permit to operate in Manila, and it had no Commission on Higher Education (CHED) permit to operate degree programs.

“Tayabas, Minas, and Conlu had given a non-existent private foundation unwarranted benefit by allowing it to operate as a school and to collect fees from students at the expense of PLM and the enrollees,” the resolution added.

Under Section 3(h) of RA 3019, public officials are prohibited from having any direct or indirect financial or pecuniary interest in any business, contract or transaction with which he has to intervene or take part in his official capacity.

Meanwhile, Section 3(e) of RA 3019 bars public officials from performing official duties with manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable neglect, thereby causing undue injury to the government, any private party or which would give any party unwarranted benefit, advantage or preference.

Charges for violation of Section 3(g) of RA 3019 and malversation of public funds under the Revised Penal Code were dismissed for lack of probable cause.

The criminal charges against Aguinaldo Miravalles, Ronald Dagdag, Tomas Casey, Danilo Baluyot, Benjamin Calma, and Cristina Boncan were also dismissed for lack of probable cause.