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Phil. Red Cross is accountable to the government

By Judge Marlo Campanilla/September 6, 2021

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THIS writing is for the benefit of those who will take the bar examination. Please refrain from making a political comment or remark.

Under Section 5 of RA No. 10072, the Philippine Red Cross shall be allotted by the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office at least one lottery draw yearly for the support of its disaster relief operations in addition to its existing lottery draws for the Blood Program and shall be exempt from paying certain taxes.

Because of these privileges, Red Cross is accountable to the government especially regarding the money received from PCSO. Because of these privileges, Section 7 (b) and (h) of RA No. 10072 makes the President of the Philippines an Honorary President of Red Cross and requires Red Cross to submit to the President of the Philippines an annual report containing their activities and showing its financial condition.

Red Cross is also accountable to the money that it received from PCSO, and misappropriation thereof is malversation.

As a rule, only accountable government officer can be held liable for malversation under Article 217 of the Revised Penal Code.

However, under Article 222 of the Code, the provision on malversation shall apply to a private individual (e.g., officers of Red Cross) who in whatever capacity have charge of any insular (government) funds (e.g., PCSO funds).

It is my submission “for academic and bar exam purposes” that COA has the authority to audit the use of Red Cross of the money given by Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office. In fact, officers of Red Cross can also be held liable for failure to render an accounting under Article 218 in relation to Article 222 of the Revised Penal Code.

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