• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
Provincial Legal Officer Atty. Alberto Nellas Jr. yesterday said Lucille Pines, former head of the provincial government General Services Office, had no pending cases upon her retirement from the government service last year.
Nellas, however, said that after she retired, a group of individuals who are investors in her investment scheme, surfaced and furnished them with administrative complaints against Pines.
Pines was arrested by operatives of the National Bureau of Investigation on April 17, during an entrapment operation in Brgy. Bata, Bacolod City, for alleged estafa through misrepresentation.
NBI Bacolod chief Atty. Renoir Baldovino disclosed that Pines victimized several individuals with her modus operandi, by misrepresenting Sheen Consumers Cooperative and Homemakers Enterprising Association of Negros Occidental (HEANO).
Baldovino revealed that Pines, who cannot be reached as of yesterday, victimized about 12 individuals and businessmen, involving about P30 million.
According to NBI, Pines allegedly offered between three to eight percent interest, to convince her investors to dole out money to her, for financing Purchase Orders, allegedly for the purchase of various materials amounting to millions of pesos.
Pines was required by the Bacolod City Prosecutor’s Office to file her counter affidavit within 10 days, in response to complaints filed against her by the NBI, on April 18.
Considering that Pines has already been cleared by the provincial government, Nellas said they cannot do something about the administrative complaints filed against her.
Nellas said that they have issued a show cause order to Sheen Consumers Cooperative, because of the involvement of Pines in the cooperative, and getting investments from private individuals.
He disclosed that they are now evaluating the answer of the cooperative, which is a regular participant in the bidding of the provincial government, on the show cause order issued against them.
The Department of Education Schools Division of San Carlos City issued a certification dated April 11 that the HEANO, or Pines had no transaction or dealings with the office, as a supplier or contractor, and was not authorized by the Division to accept money from financiers for projects and supplies, Baldovino said.*