Presidential Anti-Corruption Commission (PACC) Commissioner Greco Belgica has been slapped with a complaint for graft and several administrative charges before the Office of the Ombudsman by nine employees of Duty Free Philippines (DFP).
Alexander Sablan, Ernesto Mangalindan, Romeo Silva Jr., Eric Oracion, Rizalino Santos, Nilo Duarte, Joaquin Vibal, Francis Daco, and Carlito Ardales want Belgica to be held liable for violations of Section 3(b), (e), (f), and (k) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, Grave Misconduct, Conduct Prejudicial to the Service, and Gross Inexcusable Negligence.
The DFP employees said they were “very frustrated and disappointed” in Belgica for taking on their case of “smuggling” against DFPC Chief Operating Officer (COO) Vicente Pelagio Angala.
They said in the complaint that they sought Belgica’s help after listening to his program with DZRH called “Ireklamo Mo Kay Greco.” They then went to his house in San Miguel Avenue near Malacañang and sought help regarding allegations of anomalies and corruption within DFP.
He listened to their concerns and introduced his father, Gregor Belgica, and his lawyer sibling, Atty. Jeremia Belgica. The Belgica clan assured the DFP employees that they have their support, and they said they were lucky because they do not have to pay for any legal fees.
However, when they filed the plunder complaint before the Ombudsman on March 16, 2017, with the help of the firm of Belgica’s brother – Belgica Aranas ALim Dela Cruz and Association – they had to pay P1,000 per page or a total of P130,000.
Things went downhill when Belgica contacted Angala and set up a meeting with them. During the meeting, they were made to sign a “waiver” which they did not get to read and they were also kept in the dark.
In the end, Belgica made recommendations to President Duterte against officials of DFP. However, they said the recommendations did not really include the names of those involved, but just mentioned that charges be filed against “public officials.”
The money which they used to pay the Ombudsman was also returned.
“Ginamit niya ang aming kaso para magkaroon ng koneksyon sa mga malalaking negosyante sa Duty Free upang gamitin niya sa kanyang pansariling interest. (He used our case to connect with big business owners in Duty Free so that he could use it for his own personal gain),” the complaint read.
Contacted by the Manila Bulletin for his side, Belgica said he is ready to defend himself and provide answers “anywhere and anytime.”
He added that the complaint that he asked for money is a “fabricated story,” and he said that he had been very generous to the DFP employees. The fact that the group has besmirched his reputation, Belgica said he is going to file counter-charges and “pray hard that they all go to jail.”
Belgica likewise made some accusations of his own: “This group is being sponsored by the same people who also filed a case against me on the entrapment operations and anti-corruption initiatives that we have been doing. This group has been trying to rally more people to fabricate cases and allegations in order to undermine the anti-corruption initiatives of the administration.”