Antonio Cailao, president of Philippine National Oil Corp., a government-owned corporation, and several senior officials amassed P122 million from questionable coal transactions from March 2009 to January 2010, a former senior PNOC official said on Wednesday.
Crismel Verano, former chair of the PNOC Exploration Corporation, the oil and gas arm of PNOC, said he has filed a case of plunder at the Ombudsman against Cailao, former PNOC EC president Rafael del Pilar and several other officials for “sophisticated schemes and hidden commissions” that resulted to huge losses for the government.
“The actuations of the respondents in conversion and raid of the public treasury are indicia of the moral fiber that is paramount and necessary in public office,” Verano said in his complaint.
In a separate case, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales filed two counts of graft at the Sandiganbayan against whistleblower Jun Lozada for leasing government properties to companies owned by his wife and brother.
Carpio-Morales said Lozada approved the leases in 2007 when he was president and chief executive officer of the state-owned Philippine Forest Corp.
Lozada, who was a star witness in the aborted National Broadband Network deal with Chinese telecommunication firm ZTE in which former president Gloria Arroyo was accused of receiving P13 billion kickback, denied the charges.
Verano, who resigned from PNOC in 2010, said Cailao contracted several firms to supply coal to Sual plant of the National Power Corp without going through a bidding procedure, which is required by law.
He said one of the contracted firms, Wilson International Trading, later sued for demurrage of more than P100 million because the coal shipment was diverted to Batangas.
Manila Standard contacted Cailao to get his side on the issue, but he declined to comment pending receipt of the official complaint.
Cailao said he would give his side on the allegation at the proper forum, which is the Ombudsman.
Vereano said he resigned as PNOC EC chair in 2010 after certain groups called for his removal when he and other members of the board refused to approve the sale of a portion of the government’s stake in the Malampaya gas exploration project.
Other PNOC EC officials named in the complaint were Lourdes S. Gelacio, Jose C. Sta Ana, Leocandio M. Ostrea, Jose Anthony T. Villanueva, and Jose Eijansantos.