Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Plunder sought vs Arroyo, Uriarte over PCSO scam

By Angie M. Rosales

The Daily Tribune
The Senate blue ribbon committee has recommended the filing of plunder cases against former President Gloria Arroyo and former Philippine Charity Sweeps-takes Office (PCSO) general manager Rosario Uriarte for the misuse of some P244.5 million of the lotto agency’s intelligence funds, Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, chair-man of the Senate body, said.
Additionally, Arroyo and Uriarte should likewise be charged with technical malversation for using confidential or intelligence funds as “blood money” for two overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) sentenced to death in Kuwait, Guingona said.
The Senate committee report, at the same time, did not find any violation of the Constitution in the donations of vehicles to various Catholic priests since the donation was for a public, and not a religious, purpose and that these were not for the personal use of any religious leader.
While they were public officers, Arroyo and Uriarte teamed up to rob PCSO of at least P244.5 million.
“Arroyo made mere marginal notes and caused the release of millions of pesos to her partner, Uriarte who was in charge with the disbursement, use, and liquidation of excessive amounts of intelligence funds,” according to the report.
Uriarte’s memorandums of request for millions of pesos cited the need to address threats against the operations of the PCSO.
However, her own certifications immediately revealed that the funds were allegedly also used to address terrorism, bomb threats, and bilateral security relations, the report stated.
“Because of the excessive amounts released, the blue ribbon committee asked for proof of lawful use of public funds. However, neither Gloria Arroyo nor Rosario Uriarte ever presented the actual receipts and documents to prove that these funds were indeed used lawfully,” Guingona said.
The committee in the report stated strongly belief there is probable cause that intelligence funds were iillegally diverted into the pockets of Arroyo.
Despite facing a possible case for plunder, not a single receipt has been presented by Arroyo or Uriarte to save themselves, the report added.
The committee emphasized the fact that particularly for the year 2010, an election year, the PCSO used up P137.5 million of the P150 million that was approved by the former president at the beginning of the year.
“For the same year, PCSO’s intelligence fund budget was larger than the intelligence fund budget of the Philippine Army, ISAFP-GHQ, DND, Navy, and the NBI,” the report added.
The report also stated other findings of the Senate committee after the hearings it held on the issue: the PCSO during Arroyo’s term spent excessively for public relations and advertising based on findings of the Commission on Audit together with the testimonies during the hearings.
Billions were spent on promoting betting in lotteries that could have been spent more wisely on charity, according to the report.
The extravagant expenses for the sole purpose of promoting legal gambling are superfluous and pointless by the fact that there will always be people who will do anything to take a stake for the chance of winning big, it added.
On the equipment lease agreement (ELA) for PCSO’s online lottery system, the report said the hearings held on the PCSO irregularities revealed that a company named International Totalizator System (ITS) initially offered to sell lotto equipment to PCSO for $25 million.
“However, instead of buying the equipment from ITS, the PCSO conducted a public bidding to lease – not buy – the same equipment from private suppliers. The decision to lease instead of purchase continues to impose a great financial burden to the Philippines. Instead of spending $25 million to purchase the machines, the government instead has paid the private suppliers approximately $148 million in rental fees and will continue to pay exorbitant amounts until the contract ends in 2015,” the report added.
Despite proper bidding, the resulting award of the contract not only to the winning bidder but also the two other losing bidders is questionable, it added.
The report recommended that the Ombudsman holds further investigation on the transaction.
There have been unaccountable remittances of the Small Town Lottery (STL) share to Congressmen and to the Philippine National Police (PNP), the report averred.
It found mismanagement in the execution of PCSO’s ambulance program as local government units (LGUs) of a higher class category were prioritized compared to the lower class category of LGUs.
Co-minggling of funds by PCSO was also revealed which violated the PCSO Charter that provides that apportioning of net receipts into three funds: the prize fund, the charity fund, and the operating dund.
The Contractual Joint Venture Agreement (CJVA) between TMA Group of Companies (TMA) and the PCSO entered into for the purpose of establishing the first thermal coating plant in the Philippines should be cancelled for being grossly prejudicial to the Philippines, the report added.
Violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices were in fact committed by members of the former board of the PCSO.
When the Prime Gaming Philippines (PGPI) purchased the property of TF Ventures – a company partly owned by Manuel Morato – the latter was relieved of the burden of paying for the corporate debts owned by TF Ventures to the banks, it said.
It can be inferred that PGPI’s resulting assumption of the debts of Morato’s company is partly an act of gratitude extended to Morato, who was a member of the Board that approved the Equipment Lease Agreement of PGPI’s related company, PGMC.
Further investigation must be pursued on possible conflicts of interest by Morato and his dealing with PGPI.
The report also raised possible election Offenses committed by Morato.
Also among the recommendations of the report were:
* The PCSO Charter must contain penal provisions, imposing criminal, civil, and administrative liabilities for acts in violation of the charter, committed by its employees and private individuals;
* The PCSO management must improve its accounting system to ensure that no further unlawful co-minggling of funds shall occur in the future;
* PCSO funds must be allocated only to various national programs which are relevant to the mandate of the agency.The current board of the PCSO must immediately undetake an extensive assesment and evaluation of the programs and projects to ensure that public funds are used within the scope of this agency’s mandate;
* The Commission on Audit should come up with new auditing guidelines for confidential and intelligence funds which should include, among others, the following provisions: a requirement to submit, in classified and sealed envelopes, the vouchers/receipts/other documents evidencing the expenses charged against a specific allocation of confidential or intelligence fund, a certification by the officer in charge of liquidation that these envelopes can be accessed for lawful purposes, a sealed copy of the proposals/requests submitted in support of the request for confidential or intelligence funds, which may be accessed for lawful purposes.
* A law must be passed establishing a Treasury Single Account which can help government track and discover, on a timely basis, transactions which may appear irregular based on the frequency of fund releases and the amount of the said releases.
* The PCSO’s budget for public relations/advertising purposes should not exceed 1.8% of its gross sales. The PCSO is not a private corporation that needs a huge advertising budget.
* Passage of a law that would augment PhilHealth funds with PCSO funds.
* PCSO should stop giving shares of the proceeds of its operations to the PNP because it is not primarily mandated to implement projects within the mandate of the PCSO.
* Shares from PCSO’s operations that are released to congressional and/or other local government units should be strictly regulated. Without proper liquidation, future releases should not be made; and
* The PCSO management should ensure that the strictest standards are established and observed to ensure that public funds are devoted only for public and non-secular purposes.
Let this serve as a reminder to all that public funds are sacred as it is imbued with public interest. Public funds could only be spent for authorized public purposes and can never be used as a private piggy bank.

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Gatdula cause célèbre

By Perry Diaz

Claiming innocence, former police general Magtanggol Gatdula, who was fired as Director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), vowed to fight back to clear his name of allegations of kidnapping and extortion.

However, he conceded that when the President lost trust and confidence in him, that was his signal to go out.  And that’s precisely the crux of the matter: President Benigno “P-Noy” Aquino III expects his appointees to walk a straight line – “daang matuwid” — in the performance of their jobs.
According to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, Gatdula was relieved from his post following the recommendation of a DOJ fact-finding panel — which investigated the alleged kidnapping and extortion of Noriya Ohara, a 33-year-old Japanese national — to file charges against him and other NBI officials involved in the caper.

The DOJ report said that Gatdula participated in the planning and cover-up of the alleged crime last October 29 in which NBI agents abducted Ohara, who is in the country illegally.  According to the report, the NBI agents demanded a P15-million ransom from Romulo Marzan’s family with whom Ohara was staying.  The NBI agents threatened the Marzans with criminal charges for harboring an illegal alien.  After haggling over the ransom amount, which took place in the NBI office, the Marzans paid the agents P6 million.

During the investigation, Ohara incriminated Gatdula before the DOJ panel whom she positively identified from a picture of Gatdula hanging on the wall of the office of Mario Garcia, chief of the NBI-Security Management Division (SMD), where she was initially brought in after her abduction.

“Rescue” operation
 But here is the stinger:  Garcia, who led the operation, claimed that it was to “rescue” Ohara. He said that Gatdula went to the SMD office only to look at Ohara saying,  “Help her with what she needs.” However, Gatdula told the panel that his visit to the SMD office was a “routine inspection” and that he didn’t remember meeting or seeing Ohara.

In regard to the “rescue” operation, Garcia said that somebody gave him a letter written in Nihongo purportedly from Ohara in which she alleged that she was being abused by the Marzans.  But Ohara told the panel that she was coerced into writing the letter. When the letter was translated, it was a request for help about her properties!

The DOJ report established the motive behind the “rescue” operation: The Chief Consul of the Japanese Embassy told the panel that Ohara inherited a huge inheritance from her father.  In June 2009, she fled to evade her father’s creditors and the Japanese government who wanted to collect her inheritance tax.  She entered the Philippines illegally via Guam.  She then assumed a false identity and purchased a house in Las Piñas City, which was registered in the name of Romulo Marzan’s sister, Rosemarie, who became her friend.  In 2011, Ohara went to live with the Marzans in Bugallon, Pangasinan.  It was in Bugallon where Ohara was “rescued” by the NBI agents.

Gatdula claimed that his dismissal was politically motivated.  But the President said that Gatdula was fired because of insubordination. He said that after Ohara’s detention at the NBI had become public, Gatdula was ordered to transfer Ohara to the Bureau of Immigration because of her status as an illegal alien.  But Gatdula did not carry out the order; thus, he was fired.

Political angle
It is interesting to note that Gatdula is a member of the politically powerful Iglesia Ni Cristo (INC).  INC endorsed and supported P-Noy during the 2010 presidential elections, which was a “command vote” for P-Noy.  INC members are known to vote as a solid bloc for whomever the INC leadership endorses.

It appears that as a result of the INC endorsement, P-Noy appointed many INC members to high government positions.  One of them was Magtanggol Gatdula.  However, recent events seem to manifest a cleavage in P-Noy’s alliance with INC.

INC was allied with former Ombudsman Merceditas “Merci” Gutierrez who resigned after the House of Representatives impeached her and before the Senate impeachment trial began.  P-Noy’s overt act to remove Merci as Ombudsman did not please the INC leadership.  And then there was the case of INC member Artemio Tuquero who was on the shortlist for Merci’s replacement.

In my article, “Gloria’s Trojan Horse” (July 20, 2011), I wrote, There is one candidate for Ombudsman who I believe is Gloria’s ‘Trojan horse,’ presented to P-Noy to make sure that if he’s appointed Ombudsman, Gloria would remain untouchable for the next seven years.” I was referring to Tuquero who was favored by some of P-Noy’s political allies including Sen. Francis “Chiz” Escudero and Executive Secretary Pacquito “Jojo” Ochoa Jr.  However, P-Noy decided against appointing Tuquero.  Instead he appointed his personal choice, retired Supreme Court Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales.

Did it surprise anyone that when former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was charged with electoral sabotage, she hired the legal services of Tuquero to defend her?  And did it come as a surprise that when the House of Representatives impeached Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona – Gloria’s midnight appointee — he hired an INC member, Serafin Cuevas, as his lead counsel?

In politics, nothing happens by accident.  The series of “coincidences” seem to point to the political realignments that are forming as the 2013 election is heating up and the 2016 presidential election is looming in the horizon.  But De Lima said that Gatdula’s dismissal had nothing to do with his religious affiliation.  Of course, it had nothing to do with his religious affiliation.  But nobody is saying that politics had nothing to do with it.
Which makes one wonder: Is Gatdula the sacrificial pawn in P-Noy’s king’s gambit? If so, who would play the “king”?

# # #
“The world suffers a lot. Not because of the violence of bad people, but because of the silence of good people!” – Napoleon

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Chief Justice Corona personally met with World Bank officials, bank documents show

Read the SC expenses rejected by the WB

My Exclusive by Raissa Robles

Last Monday January 16, Chief Justice Renato Corona denounced as “a huge lie” a leaked World Bank report stating that the WB had rejected the charging of plane fares, dinners, hotel expenses incurred under CJ Corona’s watch. These expenses amounting to US$199,900 were charged against a US$21.9 million WB loan to fund a project for speeding up justice and “enhancing institutional integrity.”
This (alleged diversion of funds) happened before I became Chief Justice. I was not responsible for this. This happened a decade ago and I have been Chief Justice for just a year and a half.
However, the 97 pages of documents prepared by the WB – which I have obtained – shows that the questionable diversion of funds from the Judicial Reform Support Project (JRSP) took place only last year. The documents – consisting of an Aide Memoire and Annexes – detail the expenses for which the WB demanded reimbursement because these were not in line with the justice project.
Among the rejected expenses were meals of members of the judiciary of Guam and their Philippine counterparts.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Justice Delayed, Still Better than None

Telltale Signs

By Rodel E. Rodis
The families of Bubby Dacer and Emmanuel Corbito have been waiting for justice for more than 11 years since November 24, 2000 when operatives of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Task Force (PAOCTF), then under the command of Gen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, abducted, tortured and executed Dacer and Corbito. Their families may take comfort in the news this past week that a family that has waited even longer for some measure of justice finally found it when the new Ombudsman reversed the actions of her predecessors and filed charges against 10 Philippine Navy officers for the murder of Navy Ensign Philip Andrew Pestaño on September 27, 1995.
I first wrote about this case on December 10, 2007 (“Death of an Ensign”) after reading an account of it by Jesuit educator Fr. James Reuter (“Justice at 3 A.M.”). Pestano, an idealistic graduate of the Ateneo de Manila High School in 1989, entered the Philippine Military Academy (PMA), and graduated as an Ensign in the Philippine Navy in 1993, when he was then assigned as a cargo master on a Navy ship.
Sometime in 1995, Fr. Reuter wrote, Pestaño discovered that “the cargo being loaded onto his vessel included logs that were cut down illegally, were carried to the ship illegally, and were destined to be sold, illegally… Then there were 50 sacks of flour, which were not flour, but shabu (methamphetamine) – worth billions. Literally, billions … And there were military weapons which were destined for sale to the Abu Sayyaf.” As cargo master of the ship, Pestaño refused to approve the illegal cargo despite orders from his superior officers that he do so.
According to Fr. Reuter, “Pestaño’s parents received two phone calls, saying: “Get your son off that ship! He is going to be killed!” When Phillip was given leave at home, his family begged him not to go back. Their efforts at persuasion continued until his last night at home, when Phillip was already in bed.”
“His father came to him and said: “Please, son, resign your commission. Give up your military career. Don’t go back. We want you alive. If you go back to that ship, it will be the end of you!” But Phillip said to his father: “Kawawa ang bayan! (Pity the country)” And he went back to the ship.”
“The scheduled trip was very brief – from Cavite to Roxas Boulevard – it usually took only 45 minutes. But on September 27, 1995, it took one hour and a half. When the ship arrived at Roxas Boulevard, Ensign Pestaño was dead.”
Within a day, the Navy investigators determined that Pestaño had committed suicide because a “suicide note” was found in his cabin. Phillip’s family objected to this finding as they pointed out that the note was not in his handwriting and he was an honor student at Ateneo and engaged to be married in a few months.
After two years of prodding by Pestaño’s family the Philippine Senate conducted an investigation on the Pestaño death in 1997. In the course of the Senate investigation, witnesses testified that before he died, Pestaño refused to authorize the loading of 14,000 board feet of illegal hardwood logs in Tawi-Tawi even though its governor, Gerry Matba, had a gift for his good friend, Admiral Pio Carranza.
Over Pestaño’s objections, the illegal logs were loaded in Tawi-Tawi and off-loaded in Cavite just before the ship sailed for its home port in Manila in what would normally be a 45 minute trip. The trip lasted more two hours in what was later described as an “unusual dogleg route”.
After hearing from numerous witnesses, the Senate Report (#800) concluded: “Pestaño did not kill himself aboard the BRP Bacolod City… He was bludgeoned unconscious and then shot to death somewhere else in the vessel. His body was moved and laid on the bed where it was found.”
“The clear absence of blood spatters, bone fragments or other human tissues is physical evidence more eloquent than a hundred witnesses,” the Senate report observed. “It is impossible for a person who has just sustained a fatal head injury to walk from some other place in his room, lie on his bed and drop dead…”
“He was killed by an assailant, necessarily aboard the BRP Bacolod City”, before it docked at the Navy HQ on Roxas Boulevard. The attempt to make it appear Pestano killed himself inside his stateroom was so deliberate and elaborate that one person could not have accomplished it by himself.”
The Senate Committee also found it suspicious that without conducting an investigation, the Navy ruled within 24 hours that it was suicide. Naval intelligence commander Tirso Danga insisted on the suicide claim when he testified before the Senate committees on human rights and national defense hearings on May 5 to Sept. 3, 1997.
Murder, concluded the committees led by Sen. Marcelo Fernan. Pestaño was bludgeoned, shot and his body rigged to appear as a suicide.
The cover-up of the murder of Pestano exacted other victims. Among them was Petty 0fficer (PO2) Zosimo Villanueva who was the officer who tipped Pestaño on the presence of illegal cargo on the ship, specifically about “the concealed bulk of illegal drugs (hidden) in the more than 20 sacks of rice cargoes aboard the ship.” A week after Pestaño’s murder, Villanueva was dispatched by his superiors on mission where he mysteriously “washed away in a sea mishap”.
Another casualty was Ensign Alvin Parone who was the officer who called Pestaño’s parents to warn them of plans to kill their son. He was also killed, then Sen. Alfredo Lim said, “a victim of another unsolved murder.”
Also missing and presumed dead is Petty Officer (PO3) Fidel Tagaytay who was the duty officer on board Pestaño’s ship. When he was summoned to testify before the senate, he disappeared. His wife, Leonila, has been desperately searching for him, begging the authorities to investigate his disappearance. He is “absent without leave” is all the Navy brass will tell her.
The Senate directed the Office of the Ombudsman, then headed by Aniano Diserto, to “identify the persons who participated in the deliberate attempt to make it appear that Pestaño killed himself.”
Desierto ignored the Senate’s directions. After he was replaced by Merceditas Gutierrez, the Pestano investigation met with the same indifference as Gutierrez refused to even meet with the parents of Pestano.
When the parents of Pestano signed an impeachment complaint against Gutierrez, she finally acted. As Raul Pangalangan wrote in his Inquirer column, “She dismissed it. To add sting to the injury, she served her dismissal order on Pestaño’s parents the day after they signed the impeachment complaint against her.”
The Pestano family filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the case dismissal by Gutierrez and this motion was acted upon by Conchita Carpio-Morales, the Ombudsman recently appointed by Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III
On January 10, 2012, Morales reversed the decision of her predecessor and filed murder charges against Capt. Ricardo Ordoñez; Cmdr. Reynaldo Lopez, Hospital Man 2 Welmenio Aquino, Lt. Cmdr. Luidegar Casis, Lt. Cmdr. Alfrederick Alba, Machinery Repairman 2 Sandy Miranda, Lt. Cmdr. Joselito Colico, Lt. Cmdr. Ruben Roque, PO1 Carlito Amoroso and PO2 Leonor Igcasan.
More Navy officers are culpable not just for the crime of murder but for the cover-up and for the murders of those gallant officers who refused to participate in the conspiracy.
Fr. Reuter wrote: “Some military men are killed in battle. They are given a hero’s burial. But Phillip died for a much deeper cause – he was trying to preserve the integrity of our Armed Forces. He died out of loyalty to the Philippines, in an effort to keep the oath that he made when he graduated from the Philippine Military Academy.”
Justice was delayed for more than 15 years for the Pestano family but it finally came. The Dacer and Corbito families are hoping that they too will see justice some day.
(Send comments to or send them to the Law Offices of Rodel Rodis at 2429 Ocean Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94127 or call             (415) 334-7800      ).

Friday, January 27, 2012

Is it DOJ or ES?


‘Bautista cannot claim he is a representative of the PCGG because the sequestration of POTC has been lifted.’
LONG before Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa dreamed of it, the supervision of the Presidential Commission on Good Government was transferred from the Office of the President to the Department of Justice.
The 35 percent ownership by the state of Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corp. (POTC) was transferred to the Department of Finance for privatization.
Simple logic should have made Andy Bautista, chairman of the PCGG who is aspiring to become Solicitor General, understand that the government representation in the board of POTC and its wholly-owned subsidiaries should be nominated by the Department of Finance to which the shares of the state were transferred.
If the DoF names Bautista, chairman of PCGG, and elected to the board by the 35 percent interest of the state, that should be it. He is a duly elected member of the board, not a representative of the PCGG.
But then Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa issued Executive Order No. 42 allowing the nominees of the state in POTC and its subsidiaries to name or nominate their replacements who could very well be nobody else but themselves. Bautista refuses to leave the POTC and its subsidiaries as representative of the PCGG, not of the state which is a beneficial owner of 35 percent of POTC. Bautista insists that he sits in the boards of POTC and its wholly-owned companies on the strength of EO No. 42 issued by Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa.
Bautista is known to be a bookish lawyer. If he goes by the book like his peers say he does most of the time, he should clearly understand that POTC is no longer under sequestration. The controversy over placing the company under sequestration has been resolved.
After the Marcos government fell in February 1986, Jose Y. Campos, known to be a close friend of Ferdinand Marcos but never known to have used his influence for his personal gain, turned over two companies, both stockholders of POTC, to the PCGG and claimed with proof that he was holding or keeping them for Marcos and his family.
The case reached the Supreme Court which formally ruled that indeed, the 35 percent participation of the two companies in the satellite operation was deemed to have been acquired with ill-gotten wealth.
Consequently, the Supreme Court awarded the 35 percent to the state. I have a copy of the stock certificate in the name of the Republic of the Philippines.
Because the state is a 35 percent stockholder, it is entitled to representation in the boards of POTC and its subsidiaries. There is no question about that.
The monstrosity is in EO No. 42 issued by Ochoa authorizing the PCGG chairman, Andy Bautista, at this time, to pick their own replacements and the nominees to the sequestered companies.
When the issue of the 35 percent ownership by the two Marcos companies in POTC was resolved in favor of the state the sequestration of POTC was deemed lifted. There are documents that so state.
Yet as stockholder, the state is entitled to representation in the board. Representations in the board can never be interpreted as sequestration. But Bautista continues to believe so.
He believes that the Executive Order of his friend, the Executive Secretary, is the law that must apply in selecting the representatives of the state in POTC.
Bautista’s looming presence in the boards of POTC and subsidiaries is by virtue of his being chairman of PCGG, not a representative of the state.
I disagree. Since the sequestration is deemed lifted, the election of the members of the board, including representatives of the state, should follow the corporation law. Annual stockholders meetings are held.
Since the 35 percent ownership of the state has been transferred to the Department of Finance, it should be the DoF that should name the state nominees to the board. The Executive Order is anomalous, in fact illegal, for the simple reason that it allows Bautista to replace the nominees of the PCGG to companies like POTC which is no longer sequestered.
There can be no such thing as membership in the board by Executive Order. It is always by election by the stockholders in the annual stockholders meeting. Bautista elected himself by virtue of an Executive Order that does not sit with the Corporation Law. He cannot claim he is a representative of the PCGG because the sequestration of POTC has been lifted. But he believes so using the illegal EO as basis.
It is clear by his refusal to leave POTC as nominee of the PCGG that Bautista, a dean of law in a populous university of law, ignores the Corporation Law and abides by the Executive Order of Ochoa.
The EO considers POTC as sequestered. That is patently wrong. How did Ochoa come to think that a company like the POTC where the state has a 35 percent stake remains sequestered?
The PCGG is not authorized to name its representatives to companies no longer sequestered. It is the Department of Finance that is authorized to make the nominations to the board because it holds the 35 percent investment of the government.
The presence of a PCGG nominee is not necessary since the state has been awarded its due.
Who does Andy Bautista suspect is capable of dissipating the assets? It cannot be anybody else but himself if he sits not as a member of the board but as a nominee of the PCGG.
It is on record that from the time POTC and its subsidiaries were managed by their beneficial owners, including Katrina Ponce Enrile, the firms have amassed profits in the hundreds of millions of pesos.
On the other hand, when the companies were under sequestration, Philcomsat Holdings Corp. a wholly owned subsidiary, was bled dry.
It is necessary to note that Ochoa belongs to the law office where the wife of Sen. Bongbong Marcos is a senior partner. Is the EO of Ochoa intended to perpetuate the presence of a PCGG nominee in POTC and its subsidiaries so that the looting may continue?