In a resolution promulgated on March 1 and obtained by reporters yesterday, the anti-graft court’s fourth division dismissed Pichay’s argument that his suspension serves no purpose because he is no longer connected with LWUA.
Michael Varcas
Prospero Pichay suspended by Sandiganbayan for graft
Elizabeth Marcelo (The Philippine Star) - March 15, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has ordered the suspension for 90 days of Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. in connection with the graft charges he is facing over the alleged anomalous acquisition of a thrift bank when he was chairman of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).

In a resolution promulgated on March 1 and obtained by reporters yesterday, the anti-graft court’s fourth division dismissed Pichay’s argument that his suspension serves no purpose because he is no longer connected with LWUA.       

The court said an accused public official charged with a valid case should be suspended under Section 13 of Republic Act 3019.

The House of Representatives was ordered to implement the suspension order.

Pichay was indicted for violation of the Manual of Regulation for Banks and three counts of graft over LWUA’s acquisition of Express Savings Bank Inc. (ESBI), a thrift bank based in Laguna owned by Forum Pacific Inc. (FPI) and the Gatchalian family’s WELLEX Group Inc. (WGI). 

The bank was allegedly acquired without the approval of the Office of the President, the Monetary Board of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and Department of Finance.

The LWUA allegedly deposited P700 million to ESBI’s account to augment the bank’s capital stocks also without approval of the BSP’s Monetary Board.

The Sandiganbayan had earlier dismissed the cases filed against Pichay’s co-accused – Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian; his brother Wesley, the incumbent congressman of Valenzuela; their brother businessman Kenneth, and their parents William and Dee Hua.

Also cleared of the charges were former LWUA officials Eduardo Bangayan and Aurelio Puentevella; WGI corporate executive Yolanda de la Cruz; FPI executives Elvira Ting, Peter Salud, Geronimo Velasco Jr., Rogelio Garcia, Lamberto Mercado Jr., Evelyn dela Rosa, Arthur Ponsaran and Joaquin Obieta, and ESBI executives George Chua, Gregorio Ipong, Generoso Tulagan, Wilfred Billena and Edita Bueno.                     

CORRUPTION GRAFT PROSPERO PICHAY JR. SANDIGANBAYAN
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