MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan, the country’s anti-graft court, has found former Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) chairperson Efraim Genuino guilty of graft.
As chief gaming regulator during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Genuino was accused of misusing Pagcor funds in 2012 after he released P37 million for the training of the country’s national swimming team without the approval of the Pagcor board.
On Friday, March 3, the anti-graft court’s Third Division found Genuino guilty beyond reasonable doubt for violating section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019 or Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which states: “Causing any undue injury to any party, including the Government, or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits, advantage or preference in the discharge of his official administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality, evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.”
The court also perpetually disqualified Genuino from public office, and sentenced him to prison for a minimum of six years and one month to a maximum of 10 years.
The ruling was penned by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang with Associate Justices Bernelito Fernandez and Ronald Moreno concurring.
However, the same division acquitted Genuino on another count of graft in relation to the swimmers’ use of Trace Aquatic Center facility owned by Genuino’s family.
The Sandiganbayan has yet to upload the full copy of the resolution as of posting.
In 2017, the Sandiganbayan affirmed the graft charges against Genuino.
Earlier in the case proceedings, he argued that there was no proof that he signed the checks payable to the Philippine Amateur Swimming Association. He also said that as chairman, he was a mandatory signatory to Pagcor bank accounts. – Rappler.com
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