Commission on Audit

COA tells PCGG: Pay Landbank’s P10-M claim

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COA tells PCGG: Pay Landbank’s P10-M claim

COA. The Commission on Audit in Commonwealth Avenue, Quezon City, on October 2, 2018.


The COA en banc held that the Sandiganbayan's order for the PCGG to  pay the bank’s claim had become 'final and executory' in 2009

MANILA, Philippines – The Commission on Audit (COA) has upheld the P10-million reimbursement claim of the Land Bank of the Philippines (Landbank)-Pasig Capitol Branch against the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG).

COA chairperson Gamaliel Cordoba and Commissioners Roland Café Pondoc and Mario Lipana held that the order of the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan for the PCGG to pay the bank’s claim had become “final and executory” in 2009.

“The money claim is based on a final and executory decision and order by the Sandiganbayan. Clearly, even the respondent (PCGG) no longer poses any hindrance to the reimbursement,” COA said. “Hence, the claim should now be granted.”

Based on records, the Sandiganbayan required the bank to turn over funds in the PCGG’s Modified Disbursement Scheme (MDS) sub-account with the bank created in relation to Civil Case No. 0034. This compelled the bank to use P10 of its corporate funds to comply with a garnishment order.

The concerned account held the P10 million transferred by the Department of Budget and Management as partial payment of the dividend due to businessman Rodolfo Arambulo’s stake in Piedras Petroleum.

In response to the motion of Arambulo, the Sandiganbayan issued a resolution on July 11, 1997, directing the PCGG to release all dividends corresponding to the businessman’s Piedras shares as this had excluded from the compromise agreement between the government and businessman Roberto Benedicto.

Under the agreement, the PCGG has control of 85.7% of Piedras Petroleum while Arambulo got the remaining 14.3%.

The Landbank had to advance the P10 million as the PCGG refused to issue the check. At the time, the bank’s officials were subject of a show cause order from the Sandiganbayan, with a warning that a warrant of arrest would be issued unless the sum is turned over to the Sandiganbayan sheriff.

“To avoid imprisonment and in view of the commitment of the Sandiganbayan that it will issue an order requiring PCGG to issue the necessary check for reimbursement, LBP advanced the amount ofP10,000,000 from its corporate funds,” COA said in its decision.

COA also set aside the PCGG’s argument on laches and prescription in relation to the Landbank’s claim.

“To emphasize, laches and prescription lie only when there is neglect to assert a right over a long period of time, and when an action upon a judgement is not brought within 10 years from the right thereof accrues,” COA said. –

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