Sandiganbayan told: Issue warrants versus Winston, 10 other ex-GSIS execs
(The Freeman) - December 23, 2015 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines – The Office of the Special Prosecutor is asking the Sandiganbayan to issue arrest warrants against Cebu gubernatorial candidate and former Government Service Insurance System  president Winston Garcia and other officials for graft charges over the allegedly anomalous contract for the multi-million peso eCard project in 2004.

An ABS-CBN report said the prosecutors are also asking the anti-graft court to deny the respondents’ motions for judicial determination of probable cause, a request which calls for the Ombudsman’s reinvestigation into the case.

Through counsel Star Elamparo, Garcia is filing an opposition to the motion on the ground that there is already a pending motion for preliminary determination of probable cause for the issuance of the said warrant, of which the OSP is required to comment and not to file motion.

They were also given another 15 days to file a reply to OSP’s comment.

Elamparo maintains that the GSIS’ procurement of the eCard Project is aboveboard and that the project is an out-of-the-box bureaucratic tool benefitting millions of state workers and pensioners.

“Let us wait for the Sandiganbayan to resolve first our Motion before the OSP make such a request,” said Elamparo in a statement to The FREEMAN.

Aside from Garcia, among the accused former GSIS officials are Enriqueta Disuanco, Benjamin Vivas Jr., Hermogenes Concepcion Jr., Elmer Bautista, Fulgencio Factoran, Floriño Ibañez, Aida Nocete, Reynaldo Palmiery, Ellenita Tumala-Martinez, and Leonora Vasquez-De Jesus.

They were accused of graft practices and for violating the procurement law after awarding the eCard project to the Union Bank of the Philippines, although the bid proposal submission has not been closed.

Garcia, Ibañez, Bautista, Factoran, Martinez, De Jesus, Palmiery, and Discuanco requested to dismiss the case for lack of probable cause and to remand the case to the Office of the Ombudsman.

In a consolidated opposition, the prosecutors argued that there is no need for a reinvestigation of the case since the Ombudsman has already found facts and circumstances which show probability that a crime has been committed, and the persons involved should be held for trial. —/NSA (FREEMAN)

ACIRC AIDA NOCETE ATILDE BENJAMIN VIVAS JR. DE JESUS ELAMPARO ELLENITA TUMALA-MARTINEZ ELMER BAUTISTA ENRIQUETA DISUANCO FULGENCIO FACTORAN GARCIA
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