Archive for the ‘euro generals’ Category

Dela Paz takes blame for Moscow mess

November 15, 2008

PNP exec admits irregularity in release of funds

By Abigail Kwok, Maila Ager
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 11:27:00 11/15/2008

MANILA, Philippines — (UPDATE 2) Retired police comptroller Eliseo Dela Paz admitted Saturday sole responsibility for the alleged unauthorized release of the P6.9 million from the Philippine National Police (PNP) intelligence fund.

But Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago refused to believe Dela Paz’s claim, which she called “heroic.”

“Your own office, Mr. Dela Paz, is saying that you are guilty of violating applicable laws when you ordered, and verbally at that, the release of P7 million. Do you agree or not?” Santiago said.

“I agree your honor,” Dela Paz said.

Santiago was citing the results of the PNP initial investigation into the Moscow incident, which stated that “The only basis for the release of P7 million from the confidential intelligence fund from the PNP was the verbal instruction of Police Director Dela Paz. Therefore it could not be denied that irregularity attended the use of government funds.”

“Do you agree that your superior official, such as the PNP chief [Director General Jesus Verzosa] and the DILG [Department of Interior and Local Government] secretary [Ronaldo Puno] should be absolved, and instead, all blame and guilt should be pinned on you? Do you agree with this situation? Because in effect that is the consequence of this statement in the PNP report” Santiago asked.

“The release of the P10 million for the travel expenses for the supposedly contingency fund is based on my instructions,” Dela Paz said.

“That’s very heroic. You are assuming all guilt. But I have to tell you as a lawyer and a formal trial judge that you are facing a regular sentence of 20 years or more than that. Are you ready to do that? Go to jail 20 years, leave your wife your child, your vision impaired child, just so other people can be free? Because I refuse to believe, Mr. Dela Paz, that you are the sole perpetrator of the crime or offenses stated in these two reports. I believe you are part of a bigger conspiracy and that…you are willing to assume responsibility for others. That seems for me to be the most humanitarian view of the situation,” Santiago said.

Despite of this, Dela Paz still insisted that the release of the P6.9 million was “on my own behalf.”

To which Santiago answered, “Let me just say this for the record as chair of this committee [Committee on Foreign Relations]…very often we find cases where a middle-level official tries to cover up for his superiors. That is the problem of corruption in this country and that is the reason why the culture of corruption is endemic and seems to be permanent in our country because only the little fish go to jail and the big fish never, in fact they continue and prosper.”

Later on in the hearing, Superintendent Samuel Rodriguez, disbursing officer for directorate for intelligence, admitted that it was “unusual” that the retired comptroller requested around P10 million from the PNP intelligence funds to be used for the PNP delegation to the Interpol conference.

Rodriguez told Senators that he was told by Senior Superintendent Tomas Rentoy, chief of the budget division of the directorate for comptrollership, to “reserve” P10 million for the use of the PNP delegation.

But Rodriguez said he was unaware of the 105,000 euros carried by Dela Paz when he and his wife were accosted by Russian customs officials.

“With regards to the 105,000 euros, sir, I do not have any knowledge sir. But I was only told to reserve P10 million for the delegation, which I immediately informed my immediate officer, [Chief Superintendent Orlando Pestaño, chief of the PNP finance services],” Rodriguez said.

“Initially sir, with the request of directorate for comptrollership, through Rentoy, told me to have the money, I immediately informed my immediate officer Pestaño that Rentoy is requesting for the P10 million fund to be sourced from the intelligence and confidential fund,” he added.

Admitting that there was something “unusual” with the request, Rodriguez said he wrote a letter to both Pestaño and Dela Paz.

“Before I complied sir, I immediately told my superior [Pestaño] that the amount of P10 million was being requested by the directorate for comptrollership. I made a notification addressed to my immediate officer that there will be a violation of some auditing rules so I made it a point to notify him through a memo and then I also made a memo and I submitted to Rentoy informing Dela Paz that there’s a violation with regards to release of funds from the intelligence fund,” Rodriguez said.

A copy of the memo, read by Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr., cited Presidential Decree 1445 (Government Auditing Code of the Philippines) Section 106, which read, “No accountable officer shall be relieved from liability by reason of his having acted under the direction of a superior officer in paying out, applying, or disposing of the funds or property with which he is chargeable, unless prior to that act, he notified the superior officer in writing of the illegality of the payment, application, or disposition. The officer directing any illegal payment or disposition of the funds or property shall be primarily liable for the loss, while the accountable officer who fails to serve the required notice shall be secondarily liable.”

The memo also said that the money requested by Dela Paz through Rentoy was supposedly allocated for the directorate for intelligence to “support their approved projects in carrying out their intelligence/confidential activities for the month of September.”

Answering questions of Senator Rodolfo Biazon, Dela Paz said he requested and approved the release of about P10 million in contingent fund for the PNP delegates to the 77th Interpol general assembly held in Moscow last month and should therefore be held responsible for it.

“There’s no scapegoat dito (here), our honor,” he said, “May pangangailangan po yung magta-travel so being the comptroller kelangang hanapan ng solution yung pangangailangan na yan. Dun na nakita na may pondo sa intelligence fund (There’s a need for those who are traveling so being the comptroller I had to find a solution for that need. That’s when the intelligence fund was noticed),” he said.

He said the money was used for plane tickets, hotels, and other expenses.

But Biazon noted that the money was seized by airport authorities in Moscow while the delegation was returning to the country.

The senator could not understand why the money was still intact when it was supposed to have been used by the delegates.

Sometime during the hearing, Dela Paz repeatedly invoked his right against incrimination when asked why he did not declare the euros he was carrying.

Dela Paz first invoked this right when asked by Senator Loren Legarda if he was aware of a Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas circular stating that a person carrying more than $10,000 should declare the money when going in and out of the country.

“Your honor, I would like to invoke my privilege against self-incrimination,” he told senators investigating the issue.

“My question, Mr. Dela Paz, is very simple whether you actually knew that v there was a BSP circular or whether you just refused to comply. Napaka simple po. I’m not here to try to pin you down. I’m here simply to seek out the truth,” Legarda said.

When pressed, the retired officer, after consulting his lawyers, corrected himself and said he was aware of the circular.

“If I may correct myself your honor, na alam ko yung (I know about the) more than 10,000,” Dela Paz said.

But he again invoked n his right b against self-incrimination when the senator asked why he did not declare the money he was carrying in Moscow.

“Your honor, as I said earlier, I would like to invoke my privilege (against) self-incrimination as advised by my counsel,” he said.

“Your question, if answered, will incriminate me,” he said, pointing out that the subject matter was already part of the Ombudsman’s own investigation on the same issue.

(Running Account) Senate Investigation on Euro Generals

November 15, 2008

In Senator Roxs’ questioning, De la Paz denied knowing about the “Disembarkation Form” in Russia.  Roxas was puzzled about the “hiram” reason.

Roxas pointed out that the amount in question is therefore a simple “petty cash”.  Roxas asks what will happen to the money since they are not authorized to attend the activity in Moscow.  De la Paz pointed out then that as a payment, the PNP can get the equivalent amount from their benifits as retirees..

——-

Biazon pointed that capital outaly even of intel money has a bidding too.  De la Paz agreed.

——-

Roxas asked PNP Chief Versoza if what will the PNP do in the midst of the Euro General scam.  Versoza said that… 1. they suspended any foerign trip, 2. created foreign tech group para pag-aralan ang mga foreign travel issues, 3.tckling the transformation program particularly in the Comptrollership side, 4. re-lign bidding process to straighten up the PNP.

Roxas reminded the PNP not to just wash hands, but to be a partner, an active partner to combat corruption inside their institution.

(Running Account) Senate Investigation on Euro Generals

November 15, 2008

With Senator Aquino questioning, De la Paz admitted tht in his experience, there has been a purchase that has not undergone the usual legal process.  De la Paz likewise said that di naman lahat ng pera ay gagamitin sana for the purchase of a prototype equipment.  Aquino lbeled it as “impulse purchsing.”  De la Paz said hindi naman po.

November 15, 2008

It’s de la paz!  He is the DC, and he handles the finance depts of the PNP.  In essence, he ordered Pestano to release the money.  It is according to Pestano’s story.  Pestano added that de la paz said that siya na ang bahala sa Directorate for Intel na magpapaliwanag.

Biazon extracted an answer from Pestano saying in essence that De la Paz is not doing it under order from somebody.

(Running Account) Senate Investigation on Euro Generals

November 15, 2008

Rodriguez finds something fishy because:

1. P10,000,000 request is very unusual.  Specially because the Diroctorate for Comptrollership is requesting for the Intel Fund, not the Directorate for Intelligence.

(Running Account) Senate Investigation on Euro General

November 15, 2008

De la Paz made a memorandum of reciept for himself.  He signed it for himself.  Pimentel called it “self-executed” memorandum of reciept.

De la Paz recieved the money (in pesos) in Rentoy’s office at around 9 and 10am (he said afternoon first).

Its in P1,000 bills.

Pimentel asked why it is not in a form of cheque?  Why cash?

De la Paz said that Rentoy can not issue a cheque.  Pimentel suggested that maybe because to erase a paper trail.  De la Paz disagreed.

Pimentel asked why did not convert the euro into check? why cash?

———

Arejola and de la paz know each other for 8 yrs. Arejola is in construction, mining and trade, according to de la paz.

———–

The Intel Fund Disbursing Officer stated that he sensed a problem when Rentoy asked him to release to him(Rentoy) the money amounting to P10M.  Rodriguez said that he issued a memo to his immediate officer and to Rentoy also, telling them that a violation is about to happen if the money would ever be released.  The Senate scored a point here.

(Running Account) Senate Investigation on Euro Generals)

November 15, 2008

BSP: It is unusual na ang isang money changer ay may ganung kalaking halaga para i-accomodate ang transaksyon with dela Paz group.  And its difficult to trace where these money comes from.

(Running Account) Senate Investigation on Euro Generals

November 15, 2008

A Cayetano: Mali pala yung paggamit mo (dlp) ng intel fund to supposedly buy an equipment.

Dela Paz: Yes.

A. C: So why even propose it and bring it kung alam mo na di pwede?  Mangyayari ba ay palulusutin mo kung di ito nalaman?

Delapaz argued in vain that maliit lang na amount ang magagamit sana dahil one protoype lang.  He then went on admitting this error and said that he is  ready to accept any consequence for it.

(Running Account) Senate Investigation on Euro Generals

November 15, 2008

Defensor-Santiago: Bakit naging SDO si dela Paz after ma-release ang pondo?  Therefore, you are appointed as Sdo just for the purpose of carrying this money.

She then leaves because of a very bad cold.  Turned over the table to the Foreign Affairs co-Chair and Blue Ribbon Chair.

(Running Account) Senate Investigation on Euro Generals

November 15, 2008

Senator Roxas: Ang certification ay resulta na lang ng “pakiusapan”.

Senator Gordon: Ang certification ay lumabas dahil nahuli na ng Russia ang pera.  Parang nililinis nyo lang ang rekord.

Defensor-Santiago: Nakakaduda rin ang pagtingi-tingi ni Tyrone Ng Arejola ng pagbili ng “euro”.  Dahil sa regulasyon ng Central Bank na pag umabot sa maximum na $10,000 ang transaksyon sa Money Changer ay kailangan itong ireport sa Central Bank.

Versoza asked for Executive session dahil ipapaliwanag daw niya na ang pera ay pambili daw pala ng military equipment.

Pero may agreement tayo with US na makakabili lang tayo ng military equipment kung hindi manggagalaing ang mga gamit sa US! (She side-commented na sbra pala ang pagkakatali natin sa US)

Bottom Question: Is it really a contingency fund o pambili ng militarye quipments?

dela Paz: Part of it is emergency fund.  And part of it is possibly pambili ng prototype arms.

Defensor-Santiago: O e bakit ito magiging emerency fund samantalang kinuha pala ito sa Intelligence Fund?

Biazon to PNP: Kung galing sa intel ang fund, bakit walang intel officer ang delegasyon?

(Running Account) Senate Investigation on Euro Generals

November 15, 2008

Nadiskubre ni Senador Defensor-Santiago na ang certification ng opisina ni Rentoy, ang nagrelease ng pera kay dela Paz, at ang Feliza sa Kanluran Money Changer ay may iisang notaryo publiko.

Her conclusion, dinoktor ang transaksyon, dinktor ang “kuwento” para ituwid si dela Paz.