THE accusation of graft and corruption is now on the other foot.
Presidential Anti-Corruption (PACC) commissioner, Greco Belgica, is now the subject of a graft and corruption complaint at the Ombudsman filed last Thursday, October 22, 2020, by employees of ‘Duty-Free Philippines.’
In a ‘joint affidavit’ the nine former DFP employees filed last October 22, 2020 at the OMB, Belgica was accused of grave misconduct, conduct prejudicial to service, gross inexcusable negligence and violation of RA 3019, the country’s anti-graft and corruption practices law that Belgica had sworn to uphold in the PACC’s campaign against graft and corruption in government.
The complaint stemmed from the employees’ approaching Belgica for help in investigating DFP CEO Vicente Pelagio Angala in 2017 who was suspected of alleged commission of graft and corruption.
The group accused Angala of involvement in the “widespread smuggling” inside the DFP.
The complainants in the affidavit were: Alexander T. Sablan, Ernesto v. Mangalindan, Romeo R. Silva Jr., Eric B. Oracion, Rizalino H. Santos, Nilo D. Duarte, Joaquin M. Vibal, Francis P. Daco and, Carlito G. Ardales.
Aside from expressing their “disappointment” at Belgica for “watering down” the PACC’s report on Angala, they also claimed that they were charged by Atty. Belgica, Greco’s brother of paying ₱ 1,000 per page of documents totaling ₱130,000 as fees.
In his Viber media group account, Belgica said he is “ready to defend” himself.
He denied the allegation that he asked for money. However, according to the complainants, they did not accuse Belgica of receiving money, rather the accused Belgica of betrayal and double cross. Belgica instead of bringing Angala to justice, he actually used the complainants as the vehicle to befried Angala and when Angala became his friend, and financially benefited from the latter, Greco Belgica dropped the complainants like hot potatoes.
“You can ask anyone na natulungan ng aking opisina.
Meanwhile, Belgica is also being challenged by Rep. Michael ‘Mike’ Defensor-Santiago (Anakkalusugan Party List) to name the members of Congress that he claimed are involved in corruption at the Department of Public Work and Highways (DPWH).
“If there are really corrupt practices being done and they are saying congressmen or congresswomen are involved, then they should really point to whoever are involved,” Defensor said in a statement to the media.
Defensor also cautioned Belgica to be “prudent” in issuing statements that could affect the integrity, not only of lawmakers, but also Congress as an institution.
Aside from Defensor, chair of the powerful House Committee on Accounts, Senate President Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III also dared Belgica to name congressmen he claimed to be in cahoots with corrupt personnel and officials at the DPWH.
In a media interview last Saturday, October 24, 2020, the Senate President said:
“Pinakamaganda, ganito… kailangan ilabas natin, patunayan natin, sino-sino yung mga contractors, sino yung mga congressman, sino yung mga senator, legislator, kahit sino pa, or cabinet member, kahit sino, ilabas natin (ang mga pangalan)…
“Parang yung ginawa namin sa PhilHealth, di ba? Ilantad lahat yun…
“Hindi pwedeng si congressman, sinong congressman? Sino yung kontratista na sinasabi? Dapat ganoon… Ang nangyayari diyan, everybody is suspect,” Sotto said, referring to Belgica’s accusations but refusing to name anyone in Congress. (Pinoy Expose)