PSC OIC Ramon Fernandez (Photo courtesy by Abante TNT)

MANILA – Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) officer-in-charge Ramon Fernandez on Wednesday thanked Land Bank of the Philippines for giving his office a heads-up regarding the alleged payroll padding scheme made by one of its employees.

Fernandez, also known as “El Presidente” in the pro-basketball league before, also promised to dig deeper into the case in the next few days.

Marietta Cabusao, the LandBank’s assistant vice president, was the first to discover Paul Michael Ignacio’s fraudulent acts when she noticed an unusual pattern in his recent payroll transactions.

According to the LandBank, Ignacio used the names of national athletes and coaches no longer receiving allowances from the PSC and used his bank account in their stead, leading to the payroll padding anomaly.

“We’d like to thank the management of Landbank for letting us know right away last July 7,” Fernandez said in a press conference on Wednesday, the first time he talked about the issue.

After uncovering of the scheme, Fernandez said the PSC immediately sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

“We’re just waiting for the result of their (NBI) inquest,” Fernandez said.

As instructed by President Rodrigo Duterte, Fernandez said it has been the mission of the PSC officials led by chairman Butch Ramirez to eliminate any form of corruption in the agency.

“We’re glad that we discovered this,” Fernandez said about the irregularity.

Fernandez, former superstar of the Philippine Basketball Association, earlier vowed that the PSC will “never waver in its duty to protect the interest of its stakeholders and the Filipino people”.

“We hope that we can get to the truth and bring the accountable to justice swiftly,” he said. (PNA)