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Red Cross downplays plunder raps vs Gordon

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Red Cross yesterday downplayed the filing of a plunder case against Sen. Richard Gordon over alleged anomalies in the misuse of P200 million worth of PRC funds.

 In a 23-page complaint filed before the Office of the Ombudsman on Wednesday, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV accused Gordon of committing plunder, graft, malversation and violation of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and RA 9184 or the Government Procurement Reform Act.

PRC secretary-general Oscar Palabyab said Trillanes raised old issues in filing the complaint.

Palabyab said Gordon had nothing to do with the projects that the PRC undertook as an implementing agency of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

Trillanes alleged that P200 million worth of funds were misused since Gordon served as PRC chairman in 2004.

Of the amount, Trillanes said P193 million came from Gordon’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from 2004 to 2010.

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“The PDAF incident happened a few years back. Senator Trillanes rehashed the same allegations that have been investigated and settled before,” Palabyab said in a statement.

“We will let the wheels of justice take its course while we in the PRC will continue with our mission as a humanitarian organization committed to save lives and help those in need,” he added.

Palabyab is in Turkey attending the general assembly of the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement.

He is confident that Gordon will clear his name as a long time Red Cross volunteer and humanitarian worker.

Palabyab said Gordon has transformed the PRC into a robust, modernized, well-equipped and foremost humanitarian organization in the country.

Palabyab said the PRC has submitted to the DSWD liquidation reports of the projects implemented by the organization.

“Among the agencies that implemented projects under the DSWD, the PRC is the most compliant and responsive,” he said. 

The PRC is a trusted partner of both government and the private sector in the humanitarian field.  

The PRC has been receiving donations for recovery and development projects from the private sector, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, International Committee of the Red Cross, and Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies worldwide.

The PRC and its partners managed to construct 80,000 homes, schools, health facilities and livelihood projects in areas hit by Super Typhoon Yolanda.

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