Tuesday, February 28, 2012

No caveat for Naguiat--PAGCOR guys are exempt from Republic Act no. 3019? Really now

For PAGCOR chairman Bong Naguiat, there's simply nothing wrong with receiving gifts or staying in a posh hotel of a supposed applicant for a gaming license here in the Philippines. For Naguiat and his classmate, President Noynoy Aquino, staying in a US$ 10,000 room and enjoying US$ 110,000 worth of hotel accommodations at the Wynn Hotel is "industry practice."

Really now.

So, these provisions of Republic Act no. 3019 does not apply to a person named Bong Naguiat Jr. simply because he's the head of PAGCOR and the one giving those gifts, including hotel accommodations is simply one of a few gaming tycoons who wants to invest US$ 2 billion in the proposed Entertainment City of PAGCOR.

Sec. 1. Statement of policy. - It is the policy of the Philippine Government, in line with the principle that a public office is a public trust, to repress certain acts of public officers and private persons alike which constitute graft or corrupt practices or which may lead thereto.
Sec. 2. Definition of terms. - As used in this Act, the term -
(a) "Government" includes the national government, the local governments, the government-owned and government-controlled corporations, and all other instrumentalities or agencies of the Republic of the Philippines and their branches.
(b) "Public officer" includes elective and appointive officials and employees, permanent or temporary, whether in the classified or unclassified or exempt service receiving compensation, even nominal, from the government as defined in the preceding subparagraph.  chan robles virtual law library
(c) "Receiving any gift" includes the act of accepting directly or indirectly a gift from a person other than a member of the public officer's immediate family, in behalf of himself or of any member of his family or relative within the fourth civil degree, either by consanguinity or affinity, even on the occasion of a family celebration or national festivity like Christmas, if the value of the gift is under the circumstances manifestly excessive.

Never mind if the law prohibits such "receipt of gifts" and never mind if the following provisions exists which prohibits public officers from the following overt acts:

Sec. 3. Corrupt practices of public officers. - In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law, the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful:
(a) Persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with the official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced to commit such violation or offense.
(b) Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present, share, percentage, or benefit, for himself or for any other person, in connection with any contract or transaction between the Government and any other part, wherein the public officer in his official capacity has to intervene under the law.
(c) Directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any gift, present or other pecuniary or material benefit, for himself or for another, from any person for whom the public officer, in any manner or capacity, has secured or obtained, or will secure or obtain, any Government permit or license, in consideration for the help given or to be given, without prejudice to Section thirteen of this Act.
(d) Accepting or having any member of his family accept employment in a private enterprise which has pending official business with him during the pendency there...


NAGUIAT is a special kind of public officer. He is exempt from all these because giving gifts and giving hotel accommodations to casino regulators are industry practice.

Okey, so, let's say I'm a Customs official and I normally receive bribe money from smugglers and importers. Giving bribe money at the Customs is 'INDUSTRY PRACTICE." So, there's nothing wrong for, say Paulino Elevado to amass millions since it is a practice or tradition by the way for Customs men to receive such gifts and bribe money.

Naguiat is a special specie, the kind that President Aquino loves to protect. Aquino will never touch a "classmate", much less, a "kabayan" or a "kabarilan."

So, here's the thing...

You're exempted from walking the right path when you're a personal buddy, a shooting buddy or very close family provide.