Former PCGG Chair faces graft for influence peddling
MANILA, Philippines—A former Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) chairperson faces graft charges after the Ombudsman found probable cause to charge him for attempting to influence his younger brother, a Court of Appeals (CA) justice, in an ownership row before the court.
In a Joint Resolution, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales found probable cause to indict Chairman Camilo Sabio for two counts of graft for violating Section 3(a) of the antigraft law and Article 243 of the Revised Penal Code.
The Ombudsman said that in May 2008, CA Associate Justice Jose Sabio received a call from his elderly brother PCGG Chair Sabio asking him to help the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) in an ownership row with the Manila Electric Company (Meralco).
Sabio supposedly told his brother “of the rightness of the stand of the GSIS” in the case and asked him “to help the GSIS, which represents the interest of the poor people.”
Chairman Sabio called his brother upon the orders of GSIS Board Member Atty. Jesus Santos, who asked him to convince his Justice brother to rule against the issuance of a temporary restraining order that would favor Meralco.
He asked his brother after Atty. Santos informed him that the case had been raffled to Justice Sabio, the Ombudsman said.
The court said PCGG Chair is liable for violating Section 3(a) of the antigraft law that prohibits public officers from “persuading, inducing or influencing another public officer to perform an act constituting a violation of rules and regulations duly promulgated by competent authority or an offense in connection with official duties of the latter, or allowing himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced to commit such violation or offense.”
He also faces charges for violating Article 243 of the Penal Code that penalizes any “executive officer who shall address any order or suggestion to any judicial authority with respect to any case or business coming within the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of justice.”
Justice Sabio is not a respondent in the graft complaint because there was no evidence to show that he had been influenced by his brother, the Ombudsman said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.