PCGG: IRC execs OK'd fat bonuses for themselves
- Rainier Allan Ronda () - August 25, 2011 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines -  The outgoing officials of a real estate holding firm, appointed during the Arroyo administration, reportedly awarded excessive and illegal retirement packages and bonuses to themselves, the Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) said yesterday.

PCGG commissioner for legal affairs Gerard Mosquera said they will go after the former executives and directors of the Independent Realty Corp. (IRC), a firm surrendered by a crony of the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos.

“We’re going to send demand letters to these former IRC officers and directors for them to return the excess retirement bonuses and benefits they gave themselves,” Mosquera told The STAR.

In an audit of the IRC’s books, the PCGG found that several executives - led by former chairman Ernesto Jalandoni and general manager Manuel Parras - received a total of P8.92 million in retirement packages in June 2010 and also issued to themselves outgoing “repetitive bonuses” of as much as P1.02 million.

Jalandoni, who served as IRC chairman since 2001, received a separation pay of P2.649,711.88; Parras, P1,195,049.11; Benito Estacio, P467,308.20; Primitiva Millado, P1,607,303.42; Marilou Quintos, P1,427 342.07; Marilou Almoete, P718,973.71; and David Lopez, P859,977.51.

“Aside from the amounts paid as separation packages and financial assistance, the previous board also awarded bonuses to themselves and other IRC employees,” the PCGG said.

Aside from the separation pay, the IRC board, then chaired by Jalandoni, approved and effected the issuance of outgoing bonuses. Jalandoni received 13th and 14th month pay, a cash gift and an “extra bonus” totaling P212,470; Estacio, P136,240; Parras, P172,540; and 11 unidentified employees P507,782.83.

“It is important to highlight that the separation packages, financial assistance, and bonuses were computed on both basic salary and allowances, contrary to general practice and the Labor Code of the Philippines for various types of separation pay,” the PCGG said.

The same audit had uncovered the “legacy of mismanagement” the former company officers left at the IRC, the PCGG said. led by The former officials reportedly failed to collect rental payments from groups they allowed to occupy properties the IRC owns in prime business districts. The PCGG said the IRC lost P1.28 billion in potential rental income from the 18.48-hectare Payanig sa Pasig property for over 10 years, according to the PCGG.

The audit also found a highly questionable sale of IRC-owned vehicles to Jalandoni and Parras at a low price.

“Previous IRC Group officers caused the adjustment of the depreciation schedule for two vehicles (owned by the corporation) so that they could be bought at a lower price by then chairman Jalandoni and general manager Parras, despite the clear existence of a conflict of interest,” the PCGG said.

The PCGG said it successfully ran after Jalandoni and Parras to pay the balance of the purchase price based on the regular depreciation schedule.

The IRC and several affiliate and associate real estate holding companies, lumped together by the PCGG and dubbed the IRC Group of Companies, include some 27 corporations that were surrendered by the late Filipino-Chinese businessman Jose Yao Campos to the PCGG in 1987 as assets he held in trust for Marcos.

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