Inside out

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Dela Paz could’ve had more money–lawyer

Posted by Abi Kwok on November 6, 2008


Other funds could’ve been personal, he says

By Abigail Kwok
First Posted 11:25:00 11/06/2008


MANILA, Philippines — Embattled retired comptroller Eliseo dela Paz could have carried more money with him when he and his wife were intercepted by Russian authorities in an airport there, his lawyer said on Thursday.

In a phone interview, Noel Malaya, Dela Paz’s legal counsel, said that apart from the 105,000 euros reportedly from Philippine National Police (PNP) funds and the 45,000 euros reportedly from a Filipino-Chinese friend who asked him to buy watches in Austria, Dela Paz could have carried more.

“If you look at it, those data were already part of the investigation in Russia. There was only focus on 105,000 euros kasi [because] it’s government money,” Malaya said.

But Malaya said that Dela Paz could have carried more than the estimated 150,000 euros which, as of posting time, was still being held by Russian authorities.

“We can safely assume na meron pang [that he still has] extra money yan kasi may [because there is] 45,000 [euros] na pambili na sarili pang pera ni [of shopping money given to him by] Tyrone Ng Arejola. Bakit isa lang ba pwede magpabili sa kanya [Why can only one person ask him to buy something]? It is common practice in the Philippines,” he added.

Malaya also said that Dela Paz and his wife could have also carried their personal money with them, but added that he was unaware of the total amount that was confiscated from Dela Paz.

But Malaya said that the issue as to whether the amount carried by Dela Paz was “big” was relative.

“I don’t know if it’s big, pag meron kang [if you have an] intended purchase, that’s just enough money to buy that particular item,” he added.

Malaya also revealed that he received an e-mail from Dela Paz’s legal counsel in Russia, a certain Alexei Binetsky, last October 27, saying that the 105,000 euros was “on its way.”

“We received a lawyer from Russia last October 27 from Dela Paz’s lawyer in Russia saying that the money was on its way and they are just finishing some investigation procedures,” he said, adding that Binetsky failed to specify what these “investigation procedures” were.

Dela Paz and his wife reportedly returned to the Philippines last October 21 with approximately 2,000 euros with them, the amount they were allowed by Russian authorities to bring at that time, Malaya said.


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