GMA’s ally faces graft

AS ex-President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo contends with the criminal charges filed left and right against her and her family members, her former spokesperson Maria Elena Bautista apparently wouldn’t want to be left behind.

A former National Bureau of Investigation regional director and Bureau of Immigration associate commissioner in the name of lawyer Orlando Dizon is filing a case against her and some corespondents before the anti-graft office in her capacity as then Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) chief.

The complaint stems from an alleged anomalous extension of contracts she approved during her term through a memorandum of agreement that favored two insurance providers, namely, the Philippine Accident Managers Inc. (PAMI) and the Universal Transport Accident Solutions Inc. (Unitrans).

Dizon says in his complaint, a copy of which was obtained by the “Good Riddance,” that Bautista allegedly gave “undue advantage to PAMI and Unitrans to the prejudice of other legitimate insurance companies.”

He includes in his affidavit of complaint, which he submitted be-fore Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, Bautista’s corespondents, namely, Gerardo Pinili and Ma. Elen Dirige-Cabatu, both of LTRFB, Eduardo Atayde and Fernando Cojuangco, of PAMI and Unitrans, respectively, among others.

The MOA, according to Dizon, that Bautista entered into with PAMI and Unitrans effectively extended their services from 2005 to 2010 “devoid of public bidding and fairness to all other interested bidders/insurance companies.”

“The pattern of graft and corruption in said government agency ought to be stopped and plainly put the public officials responsible for such graft tainted extensions and violations of the laws be put to the bar of justice,” Dizon says.

In the same complaint, the former NBI and BI official explained that the private respondents are be-ing sued as alleged conspirators and beneficiaries and grantees of such special treatment and preferences for the “patently unlawful extension granted in 2005 until September 2010.” “By one stroke of the pen, these public officials unduly granted such an advantage to these two insurance providers with a whooping bonus and profit for another three years,” the complaint says. He estimates that for P1,000 worth of insurance coverage per vehicle which numbers in the vicinity of 500,000 all over the country, this would translate into a whooping P500 million sure profit.

Since the same has already been filed before her office, Carpio-Morales, who vows to go after big fish or high-profile cases and not to be pressured or influenced, can be tested with this another case filed against one of Arroyo’s allies.

Let’s wait and see.

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