BAGUIO CITY (July 26) — A prospective Bingo operator filed estafa charges against a city councilor for failing to return a large sum he allegedly collected for a promised Bingo Pinoy franchise in the city to which the city dad countered in an affidavit.
In her affidavit-complaint, a copy of which was sent to Nordis, businesswoman Lumina Peil, recounted how in 2003 she was enticed by Councilor Rufino Panagan to venture into getting a franchise and operation of bingo in the city.
In a detailed account, Peil presented copies of receipts and listed down the dates, places and large amounts she and her husband Arnel gave Panagan from April to September of 2003. Peil claims almost P1 million in checks was handed to the councilor. The amount collected between April to September 2003 from the Peils by Panagan is almost P2 million according to the Peil statement.
Panagan did not deny receiving the money in the counter-affidavit to support his request for the dismissal of the case filed against him by Peil. He claimed, however, that the amount handed to him “was for the capital investment and/or miscellaneous expenses they were freely and voluntarily entering into.”
He also stated in his counter-affidavit that it was “Mr. Nemencio E. Palumbarit who authorized me to negotiate with Mr. Arnel Peil on the possibility of a joint benture between him as operator of “Bingo Pinoy” and the spouses Mr.and Mrs. Arnel Peil as partners…”
Peil alleged that Panagan received a total of P1,985,000 in a period four months. These transactions are reportedly backed up by “receipts” signed by Panagan as payee. One of the receipts was signed by one of his staff at city hall when he allegedly asked him to receive the money Peil then carried to his office.
Panagan’s counter-affidavit showed bank transactions amounting to P800,000 deposited in the name of Bingo Pinoy. Another P500,000 in checks was allegedly handed to Mr. Nemencio E. Palumbarit after two checks were encashed at Allied Bank in Tagaytay City.
Peil’s sworn statement also dragged the name of then Mayor Bernardo Vergara, whom Panagan allegedly gave P100,000 for the business permit to get approved. Another P75,000 was allegedly released to Panagan for miscellaneous expenses, which he confirmed in his counter statement.
Panagan clarified that what he obtained from then Mayor Vergara was a Certificate of No Objection, not a Business Permit, with 13 conditions listed.
Peil also said she checked with the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) but her name was not listed as a franchisee applicant or holder, despite the large sums she has paid-out to Panagan.
In her affidavit-complaint she also said, “Mr. Palumbarit expressed his shock regarding the large amounts of money that we already gave to councilor Panagan. He also told my husband that he never received any amount from Councilor Panagan for the Bingo Franchise.”
While Peil alleged that Panagan then promised her money back if he did not deliver the franchise, the latter said his obligation to deliver the franchise has ended when Palumbarit got the franchise from Pagcor.
Though alleged by Panagan in his counter affidavit that the Peils have entered into a joint venture with Mr. Palumbarit and therefore would have gone into a memorandum of agreement; only a draft copy of the said MOA that was neither signed by Palumbarit, the alleged exclusive franchise holder for Bingo Pinoy, or Lumina Peil, the supposed investor was attached to his claim.
The case was docketed as I.S. No. 2007-1294 for alleged estafa before the office of the city prosecutor of Baguio. # Lyn V. Ramo for NORDIS