The supplemental motion of Surigao del Sur 1st District Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr., in a bid to overturn his conviction in connection with the anomalous sponsorship of a chess tournament in 2010, was rejected by the Sandiganbayan.
The rejection was contained in a decision promulgated by the anti-graft court’s fifth division on Tuesday, Feb. 22, stating that Pichay’s supplemental motion lapsed the 15-day period from the ruling that found him guilty of graft.
The court said that there was no specific reason stated to justify the need for such amplification of the supposed supplement to the motion for reconsideration.
Convicted of graft on Oct. 23, 2020, Pichay was sentenced to up to eight years in prison, and perpetual disqualification from holding public office. Also barred from holding public office were Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) senior deputy administrator Emmanuel Malicdem and former LWUA acting deputy administrator for investment and financial services Wilfredo Feleo.
The trio was instructed to reimburse the P1.5 million to LWUA equivalent to the amount released for the sponsorship grant.
Pichay also was found guilty of violating the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees and was ordered to pay a fine of P5,000.
Currently Pichay and the co-accused are free on bail as their motions for reconsideration remain pending in court.
The Ombudsman, which filed the cases in 2016, said that the three conspired in the release of P1.5 million in a sponsorship grant to the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP) for the 2nd Chairman Prospero Pichay Jr. Cup International Chess Championship.
Pichay “possessed financial and material interest” in sponsoring the tournament as he was chairman not only of LWUA but also of NCFP at the time. The sponsorship grant reportedly violated an administrative order calling on government agencies to adopt austerity measures and the memorandum of the LWUA suspending the sponsorship of sports and cultural activities, the court said.
Photo: FB/Cong. Prospero Pichay Jr.