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PAGC readies charges vs SEC commissioner

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By Joel Guinto
First Posted 11:01:00 03/10/2009

MANILA, Philippines – The Presidential Anti-Graft Commission (PAGC) is moving “fast” in building up a case against a commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that allegedly received a house and cash gifts from the pre-need arm of the troubled Legacy Group.

“Kailangan mabilis kami dito [We have to move fast on this],” said PAGC chairperson Constancia de Guzman of the case against SEC commissioner Jesus Martinez.

If the allegations are proven true Martinez can be charged with violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and the Code of Conduct for Public Officials, De Guzman said.

De Guzman said she hoped that the case would be docketed before the PAGC by this Tuesday or Wednesday.

The PAGC has 90 days to come up with a recommendation on whether or not charges should be filed against the SEC official, De Guzman said in a phone interview.

De Guzman said the PAGC could release its recommendations earlier, and would not use the full 90-day period.

Martinez will retire on Thursday. But De Guzman said the PAGC could still pursue charges against him if the case would be filed before his retirement.

If this is not done, the PAGC will lose jurisdiction and the case will be forwarded to the Ombudsman for investigation, De Guzman said.

De Guzman said the PAGC has been coordinating with its informants about allegations that a SEC official was on the take from Legacy. But not until the Senate inquiry last Monday did the agency confirm that the official was Martinez.

“The allegations during the Senate investigation was a big help,” she said.

De Guzman said the PAGC would secure among others, affidavits from Legacy officials who identified Martinez.

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Written by joelguinto

TueUTC2009-03-10T13:44:00+00:00UTC03bUTCTue, 10 Mar 2009 13:44:00 +0000 22, 2006 at 12:45 pm03

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