MANILA, Philippines – The Office of the Ombudsman on Thursday, October 20, filed two new criminal charges against Surigao del Sur Representative Prospero Pichay Jr, former board chairman of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA), for allegedly misusing public funds worth P1.5 million in 2010.
Assistant Special Prosecutor Maria Janina Hidalgo said Pichay caused undue injury to LWUA when he used its funds to sponsor a National Chess Federation of the Philippines’ chess tournament.
Pichay is chairman and president of the federation.
According to graft investigators, there was conflict of interest, considering that the tournament, called “2nd Chairman Prospero Pichay Jr Cup International Chess Championship,” was held in honor of Pichay.
Pichay, they said, voted to approve the cash sponsorship for the tournament despite it serving his personal interest.
The criminal charges were filed against Pichay for violating the following:
- Republic Act 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act
- Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees
His co-accused include former LWUA administrator Daniel Landingin, former senior deputy administrator Emmanuel Malicdem, and former deputy administrator for investment and financial services Wilfredo Feleo.
The 3 were implicated for approving the request to sponsor the sporting event. Such sponsorship, according to prosecutors, was not among LWUA’s mandate.
The prosecution recommended bail bonds worth P40,000 for the congressman, and P30,000 each for the former LWUA officials.
The latest filing of charges comes just as the Sandiganbayan affirmed 3 graft charges against Pichay over LWUA’s losses of P80 million that was invested in a thrift bank that went into receivership.
The anti-graft court, however, dismissed 3 malversation cases and one count of violation of the General Banking Law against him and LWUA officials. – Rappler.com
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