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Graft charges recommended vs former vice-president, 36 others

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File photo of the Office of the Ombudsman in Quezon City. — BW FILE PHOTO

By Charmaine A. Tadalan

A SPECIAL fact-finding team of the Office of the Ombudsman has recommended charging former vice-president Jejomar C. Binay and 36 others with graft over the sale of the Boy Scout of the Philippines-owned property in Malugay Street, Makati City.

The Field Identification Office (FIO) reported it has completed the investigation over the “grossly undervalued” sale of the 10,000-square meter property to Alphaland Makati Place, Inc. (AMPI).

The FIO found the property was sold by the BSP National Executive Board in June 2011 for P600 million, a “grossly undervalued (sale) considering that under the Omnibus Loan and Security Agreement between BSP and AMPI, the Malugay property was mortgaged for P1,750,000,000.00 which is indicative of the property’s true value,” the Ombudsman said in a statement.

Further, Intech Property Appraisal, Inc. (Intech), commissioned in November 2015 by the AMPI to appraise the property, later reported the BSP property was valued at P1.7 billion, while its improvements were P8.43 billion. The appraised value of the Malugay property totaled P10.13 billion.

The FIO also found officials of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) responsible for the loss of P63 million in tax collections for exempting the Malugay property sale from the capital gains tax.

“The grant of tax exemption from capital gains tax without obtaining a request for BIR ruling for the exemption was made with manifest partiality and evident bad faith causing undue injury to the government,” the Ombudsman said.

Mr. Binay’s spokesperson Joey S.J. Salgado, for his part, called the findings “selective justice.”

“Clearly, the Ombudsman intends to spend her last days in office pursuing her personal and political agenda against former VP Binay while being a true-blue Yellow protector to the end. It’s selective justice, pure and simple,” Mr. Salgado said in a statement.

Aside from Mr. Binay, the FIO also recommended filing criminal and administrative charges against Senior Vice President Wendel E. Avisado, BSP executives Del R. De Guzman, J. Miguel C. De Jesus, Enrique B. Lagdameo, Pedro B. Destura, Dale B. Corvera, Maximo J. Edralin, Jr., Remedios L. Petilla, Roberto M. Pagdanganan, Harmes S. Sembrano, Mildred L. Garay, Manuel Jose M. Dalipe, Leo G. Lasacar, Danilo C. Asiaten, Lutgardo B. Barbo, Jose Mari G. Pelaez, Ireneo C. Aquino, Jose Eduardo C. Delgado, Henry C. Dy, Jose Ma. C. Gastardo, Pepito M. Carpio, Nemesio Miranda, Jr., Jaime P. Semana, Wilfredo M. Chato, Alan Zulueta, Jorge Banal, Sr., Efren Edgard R. Dieta, Rodolfo B. Tamani, Von Carlo Yacob, J. Rizal C. Pangilinan, Salud A. Bagalso, and Amado Espino, Jr. for violation of sections 3(e) and (g) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Also recommended to be charged are AMPI President Mario A. Oreta and former Bureau of Internal Revenue officers Teodoro G. Galicia, Authorized Revenue Official; Mark Anthony Panganiban, Revenue Officer; and Romeo Tomas, Group Supervisor.

The administrative charge of Gross Neglect of Duty, meanwhile, was recommended to be filed against Messrs. Binay, Avisado, De Guzman, Pagdanganan, Lasacar, Pelaez, Delgado, Dy and Carpio.