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Image Source Philippine Daily Inquirer

SC upholds accountability of former PAGCOR chair for org’s disallowed donations

February 16, 2024 Philippines Crime & Legal

The Supreme Court upheld the guilt of former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp. (Pagcor) Chair Efraim Genuino for the organization’s 2008 P550,000 illegal donation to a private residential complex in Makati City.

The highest court rejected Genuino’s certiorari appeal against the Commission on Audit’s (COA) finding that the gifts were for a “private purpose” and held him responsible for receiving them in a 16-page decision rendered on June 13, 2023, and made public on Thursday. In addition, the court remanded the matter to the COA for a definitive determination of the sum that Genuino must reimburse.

In a different case, the Sandiganbayan rejected the request made by former Pagcor chair Efraim Genuino for the Third Division of the court to recuse itself from his accusations of corruption and malversation related to the P26.7 million ticket purchase for the movie “Baler.”

The conflict started in 2011 when a suspension notice was sent in response to Pagcor’s P550,000 donation to the Magallanes Village Association Inc. for the renovation of Magallanes Avenue, San Gregorio, and Magdalena Streets in Makati City.

According to Genuino, the board of directors authorized Pagcor’s cash payment, not him.

However, the Supreme Court found that Genuino was complicit in authorizing the first P330,000 donation as both the CEO and the head of the board of Pagcor.

Following the guidelines established in Torreta v. COA, the court highlighted Genuino’s gross ineptitude as well as his personal accountability for the present in his capacity as an authorizing officer.

Genuino argued that the presents had a valid “socio-civic and public purpose,” but the court rejected his argument, citing information from Makati City administration that suggested the disputed highways had not been turned over to the local government.

In addition, the Supreme Court referenced the earlier ruling by the COA stating that Genuino resided in Magallanes Village.

The court decided that the contributions were unacceptable in light of these factors as well as the dearth of proof showing the gifts were primarily for the benefit of the public.

Original story by: Philippine Daily Inquirer

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