The last several days have been a whirlwind of emotions for Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) commissioner and officer in charge (OIC) Ramon Fernandez as he helped oversee the arrest of an PSC employee for allegedly falsifying the payroll register of national athletes and coaches and crediting their allowances to his own account.
“Mad, sad and happy nadakpan (I’m mad, sad and happy that the person got arrested),” said the Philippine basketball great who is tasked with leading the PSC in the absence of chairman William Ramirez who is currently on leave to attend to his wife.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has arrested the employee who was identified as Paul Michael Padua Ignacio for his alleged involvement in the “payroll-padding” scheme.
The PSC investigation began after the Land Bank of the Philippines sent a letter to chairman Ramirez and executive director Merly Ibay about “unusual payroll transactions” on the account of Ignacio. It was later discovered that Padua managed to embezzle a total of P14.4 million between August 2015 until May 2020. In June alone, Ignacio placed three unqualified coaches and three unqualified athletes to the payroll and funneled P450,150 to his bank account.
On Wednesday, July 15, Ignacio was presented for inquest proceedings for violation of Article 310 in relation to Article 309 (qualified theft) through violation of Article 172 in relation to Article 171 (falsification of public documents), all under the RPC, and for violation of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
Fernandez added that he has already created a group to further investigate if the incident was isolated. Furthermore, the man more popularly known as “El Presidente” shared that he wants to make sure that an incident like this never happens again.
“Duna na ko gi suggest nga measure (I have already proposed a measure),” Fernandez said. (JNP)