THE National Bureau of Investigation yesterday picked up a Philippine Sports Commission employee who allegedly collected the allowances of athletes and coaches no longer in the list of the agency in a scam that left the PSC losing millions for the past five years, according to PSC officer-in-charge Ramon Fernandez.
Fernandez identified the employee as Paul Ignacio of the PSC personnel department.
“There might be other people involved in this case because he definitely cannot do it on his own,” Fernandez said.
The acting PSC chief said the alleged anomaly was discovered by officials of the Land Bank Philippines “which red-flagged the case since the allowances were being deposited into the account of Ignacio for the past five years. The bank usually clears their records after that period.”
The Land Bank branch at the Century Park Sheraton building across the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila is one of the PSC’s depository banks.
As far as Fernandez could gather, Ignacio’s modus operandi worked like this: He allegedly included the names of athletes and coaches no longer on the list of beneficiaries to the PSC payroll. Because he is tasked by the PSC to handle the release of the monthly allowances of several athletes and coaches, their allowances were directed into his account.
Fernandez said “there are speculations that the PSC may have lost somewhere between P12 to P14 million for those five years alone,” adding that the irregularity might have gone on for more than that.
“But let’s wait for the findings of the NBI,” he said.
Fernandez said that Ignacio allegedly padded the payroll of the list of national pool of athletes and coaches once it was handed down by the PSC National Sports Affairs department to the employee’s section.
“From the PSC NSA Affairs department, the list goes through the finance and accounting departments for verification first before it is forwarded to our payroll department,” Fernandez explained.
“Once the list is with payroll, we suspect this is where this employee includes the names of the retired coaches and athletes. The money was then placed into his account,” he pointed out. ”May kasabwat siguro ‘yan. Because he has to know kung sino ‘yung coaches and athletes na wala na sa lineup.”
Ignacio, he said, is inclined “to name names.”
Fernandez assured the public that “we hope that we can get to the truth and bring the accountable to justice swiftly.
“The PSC will never waver in its duty to protect the interest of its stakeholders and the Filipino people.”