Sandiganbayan convicts ER Ejercito of graft over insurance deal

MANILA, Philippines – The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan on Friday, April 5, convicted former  Laguna governor Emilio Ramon "ER" Ejercito of one count of graft over an illegal insurance deal when he was Pagsanjan town mayor in 2008.

The Sandiganbayan’s 4th Division handed down its guilty verdict on Ejercito in a promulgation that the former governor attended on Friday.

Ejercito was sentenced to 6 to 8 years in prison for one count of graft. Since his case involves a bailable offense, he can stay free while appealing his conviction.

Ejercito is again running for Laguna governor in the May elections.

Illegal insurance deal 

Ejercito was found guilty of violating Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019  or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for awarding a contract to insurance company First Rapids Care Ventures (FRCV) to cover tourists and boatmen in the Pagsanjan tourist zone.

The Office of the Ombudsman found that the contract was awarded without public bidding, and that FRCV did not have authority from the Insurance Commission to conduct business.

Section 3(e) penalizes acts which give unwarranted benefits to a private party, and which cause injury to the government

Former Pagsanjan councilors Arlyn Lazaro-Torres, Terryl Gamit-Talabong, Kalahi Rabago, Erwin Sacluti, and Gener Dimaranan, and private respondent Marilyn Bruel were also found guilty.

Former vice mayor Crisostomo Villar was acquitted.

All convicted persons were allowed by the 4th Division to post additional P30,000-bail each for their provisional liberties. They each have 5 days to post the

Lian Buan

Lian Buan covers justice and corruption for Rappler. She is interested in decisions, pleadings, audits, contracts, and other documents that establish a trail. If you have leads, email or tweet @lianbuan.