SC stops 'Jose Velarde' plunder case
Camille Diola (The Philippine Star) - July 18, 2013 - 10:22am

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court has issued a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the Office of the Ombudsman's plunder case against businessman Jaime Dichaves, the supposed owner of the "Jose Velarde" bank account.

The high tribunal's 3rd Division voted 4-0 with one inhibition on Wednesday to stop the Office of the Ombudsman from proceeding with the case. The Sandiganbayan was also ordered to stop from the hearing the case.

Dichaves was first indicted in 2001 for his alleged collusion with co-accused former President Joseph Estrada, now Manila mayor, suspected for collecting from government-owned corporations' purchasing property firm Belle Corporation shares.

From the archives: Sandigan orders arrest of Dichaves

Associate justices Marvic Leonen, Jose Mendoza, Roberto Abad and Presbitero Velasco, Jr. favored the TRO, while magistrate Justice Diosdado Peralta inhibited from the proceedings due to conflicting interest as he was among those who convicted Estrada for plunder in 2007.

Dichaves was said to be the one who opened the Equitable-PCI bank account under the name "Jose Velarde" which received about P210 million.

BELLE CORPORATION DICHAVES JAIME DICHAVES JOSE MENDOZA JOSE VELARDE JUSTICE DIOSDADO PERALTA MARVIC LEONEN OFFICE OF THE OMBUDSMAN PRESIDENT JOSEPH ESTRADA ROBERTO ABAD AND PRESBITERO VELASCO SUPREME COURT
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