Prestige does not prove innocence

The theory of Solita Collas-Monsod (Inquirer, 11/24/12) that the members of the board of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO), particularly, Sergio O. Valencia, should not have been indicted by the Ombudsman for plunder of PCSO funds, does not sit well with valid reasoning and the law. She argues that it was simply a ministerial duty of the board to “confirm” the illegal disbursements of PCSO funds, as requested by PCSO’s general manager, Rosario Uriarte, and subsequently approved by then President Gloria Arroyo.

The fallacy is clear. Why was there a need for the board to “confirm” the already disbursed—better still, dissipated—PCSO funds if it was merely a rubber stamp? After all, if its functions were merely ministerial, there would be no reason for its existence. Why still confirm the already confirmed (by Arroyo)?

In law, “confirmation” is needed to validate or ratify an ultra vires act, which is an act needing prior authority from a corporation’s board but did not have such authority when it was performed. It is invalid but may be validated, confirmed or ratified subsequently by the board. Thus, in corporation law, an ultra vires act, or that which cannot be done without authority of the board, may later be validated, ratified, or confirmed by the board. Unless, of course, the ultra vires act is not within the Charter or powers of the corporation, in which case it is void ab initio, hence, cannot be confirmed or ratified.

The argument that the PCSO board merely “confirmed” the illegal disbursements of PCSO funds necessarily admits that the disbursements were ultra vires, hence, needed confirmation or ratification by the PCSO board for validation.

By confirming or ratifying the illegal disbursements of the funds, the PCSO board members became equally guilty as conspirators.

In conspiracy, a party thereto need not participate in the active commission of the crime. Mere omission, silence or inaction, knowing that crime is about to be committed or being committed, when he could have prevented its commission but did not, or such silence, omission or inaction as are indicative of support, may amount to conspiracy.

The pedigree and association of Valencia with prestigious private or government organizations, though impressive, do not, by any measure, prove his innocence. To say so, is a fallacy of non-sequitur. Is Monsod saying that a descendant of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Mahatma Gandhi, etc. cannot commit a crime?

The Ombudsman is never bound by whatever findings of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee. There is no law that makes the Ombudsman subservient or subordinate to the Philippine Senate. The Office of the Ombudsman is a constitutional body, on equal footing with the Senate.

As a lawyer, I am convinced that Valencia and the other members of the PCSO board are indictable for plunder of PCSO funds, together with Arroyo, Uriarte and others.

—REX G. RICO, rico_associates@yahoo.com

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Short URL: http://opinion.inquirer.net/?p=42203

Tags: letters to the editor , opinion , PCSO , Solita Collas-Monsod

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • Retired SC justice Lorenzo Relova; 98
  • Ligots fight 2nd forfeiture case
  • PH will be partly cloudy in afternoon, evening—Pagasa
  • Ex-COA chief nabbed for plunder
  • John Paul relics abound: Bloodied shirt, unwashed fork…
  • Sports

  • Sharapova advances to Stuttgart quarterfinals
  • Galedo caps ride of redemption
  • Beermen, Express dispute second semis slot today
  • Lady Agilas upset Lady Bulldogs in four sets
  • NLEX roars to 7th D-League win
  • Lifestyle

  • ‘Recovered’ Banksy works on display ahead of sale
  • Marinduque: Visiting the ‘palm of the ocean’
  • First at Vatican in 60 years
  • How Jing Monis Salon gave Krissy the pixie
  • Want to be a supermodel? Work on your inner beauty, says Joey Espino
  • Entertainment

  • Paul McCartney to play at Candlestick concert
  • Kristoffer Martin: from thug to gay teen
  • Has Ai Ai fallen deeply with ‘sireno?’
  • California court won’t review Jackson doctor case
  • Cris Villonco on play adapted from different medium
  • Business

  • PAL hailed for ban on shark fin cargo
  • BSP to change tint of P100 bill
  • Nielsen sees car buying boom in the Philippines
  • How author of best-seller exposed ‘one percent’ economic elite
  • Bangko Sentral readies new bank lending rules
  • Technology

  • Cloud strength helps Microsoft earnings top Street
  • Vatican announces hashtag for April 27 canonizations
  • Enrile in Masters of the Universe, Lord of the Rings?
  • Top Traits of Digital Marketers
  • No truth to viral no-visa ‘chronicles’
  • Opinion

  • Editorial Cartoon, April 25, 2014
  • No deal, Janet
  • Like making Al Capone a witness vs his gang
  • MERS-CoV and mothers
  • A graduation story
  • Global Nation

  • Only 4 Etihad passengers not accounted for
  • Abandoned in Malta,15 PH seamen return
  • Senator hopes PH will also get same vow
  • HK victims to get P115M; traders raised money
  • Afghan hospital guard kills 3 US doctors, including Fil-Am pediatrician
  • Marketplace