The Sandiganbayan has issued graft convictions for three former executives of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) and meted them jail terms of up to eight years, the state-run Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported.
In a 31-page decision, Associate Justice Maryann Corpus-Manalac said incumbent Surigao del Sur Representative Prospero Pichay Jr., together with Emmanuel Malicdem and Wilfredo Feleo, are criminally liable in the irregular P1.5-million sponsorship grant to a chess club some ten years ago.
Pichay was also ordered to reimburse the LWUA the P1.5 million that was unlawfully given for the sponsorship of the chess tournament: the “2nd Chairman Prospero Pichay Jr. Cup International Chess Championship” named in his honor.
Associate Justices Rafael Lagos and Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega concurred with Manalac.
“Each is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment for six years and one month and minimum to eight years as maximum and perpetual disqualification to hold office,” the anti-graft court’s ruling said.
A fourth accused, former LWUA administrator Daniel Landingin, died in 2016 whereupon his name was excluded from the case.
The ruling said Pichay, who was LWUA chairman at the time, was liable for violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees (Republic Act 6713) as he was found to be the proponent of the sponsorship grant.
The Sandiganbayan’s ruling is not final and executory as it can be raised before the Supreme Court.