March 15, 2019
The Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division has ordered the 90-day preventive suspension of Surigao del Sur 1st District Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr., former chairman of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), pending litigation of the graft complaints he is facing in connection with LWUA’s alleged anomalous purchase of 60 percent of a bank’s stocks in 2009.
Pichay pleaded not guilty to the graft charges in 2018.
The court on Jan. 17, 2019 directed Pichay to show cause why he should not be suspended. Pichay, a deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, had said it was unlikely for him to influence and threaten potential witnesses.
The court ordered the House of Representatives to implement the suspension order.
Associate Justice Reynaldo Cruz penned the resolution, which was concurred in by Associate Justice Alex Quiroz, who leads the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division, and by Associate Justice Edgardo Caldona.
The Office of the Ombudsman filed the cases against Pichay and other individuals in 2016, alleging, among others, that the former LWUA Board passed a resolution in March 2009 approving the acquisition of the supposedly insolvent Express Saving Bank Inc., a local thrift bank in Laguna, without the required regulatory approvals from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas’ Monetary Board, Department of Finance, and the Office of the President.
Credit belongs to : www.manilatimes.net