The Sandiganbayan upheld the conviction of Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. for three counts of graft over the mismanagement of P780 million in Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) funds.
In a 17-page resolution, the court junked Pichay’s partial motion for reconsideration over its June 7 ruling.
In its earlier decision, the anti-graft court found Pichay, then LWUA administrator and his then Deputy Administrator Wilfredo Feleo Jr., liable for LWUA’s acquisition of 60 percent voting stock of the Laguna-based local thrift bank Express Savings Bank Inc. (ESBI) owned by the Wellex Group Inc. (WGI) and Forum Pacific Inc. (FPI). The transaction was done in 2009.
The court said that Pichay’s claim there was tacit approval by the Monetary Board for LWUA’s purchase of ESBI shares did not have a legal basis.