Ex-PCSO executives charged for accepting perks

MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) General Manager Rosario Uriarte and two other former executives were charged before the Sandiganbayan with graft and violation of the code of conduct for public officials because they accepted travel perks from a government contractor.

According to the charge sheet, Uriarte and former PCSO directors received all-expense paid trips to Australia from the TMA group of companies in February 2010.

A year before that, in December 2009, TMA and PCSO entered into a joint venture agreement for the establishment of thermal coating and printing plants in the Philippines.

The officials were charged for one count of graft for violating section 3(b) of the law, which prohibits officials from directly or indirectly receiving gifts from persons who have transactions with the government.

They were also charged for violating the code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees. Bail was set at P30,000 each charge per person.

Uriarte is detained at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) custodial center for the P366-million PCSO intelligence fund scam. She evaded arrest for years and was described as the “missing link” in the case that also involves former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. (READ: Plunder cases in the Philippines: Was anyone punished?)

The Supreme Court, however, dismissed the charges against Arroyo in July 2016 before Uriarte’s side could be heard. Uriarte surrendered in November that same year.

Uriarte is one of the remaining 3 defendants in the said plunder case. – Rappler.com

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email lian.buan@rappler.com or tweet @lianbuan.