Sandigan courts to hear Cedric Lee, Ronnie Ricketts cases known
The cases against businessman Cedric Lee and actor Ronnie Ricketts have been raffled off to their respective divisions in the Sandiganbayan on Friday.
The malversation and graft cases of businessman Cedric Lee were raffled off to the Third Division chaired by Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje-Tang with members Associate Justices Samuel Martires and Sarah Jane Fernandez.
Meanwhile, the graft case of Optical Media Board (OMB) chair Ricketts was raffled off to the Fourth Division chaired by Associate Justice Jose Hernandez with members Associate Justices Alex Quiroz and Oscar Herrera Jr.
Lee, who was more known for his alleged role in the mauling incident against actor and television host Vhong Navarro, was charged with malversation and graft with former Mariveles mayor Angel Peliglorio Jr. over the allegedly anomalous use of P23.47 million in bank loans for the construction of a public market in Bataan.
The Ombudsman said Peliglorio conspired with Lee as President and CEO of Izumo Contractors Inc. by authorizing the release of P23.47 million bank loan proceeds to Lee’s company on March 27, 2005 upon the latter’s request even without procedural safeguards, guarantee of performance, and in violation of audit rules.
Lee also faces a tax evasion case before the Department of Justice for the alleged failure of Izumo Contractors to pay P194.47 million in taxes from 2006 to 2009, as well as serious illegal detention and grave coercion cases with model Deniece Cornejo before the Taguig Regional Trial Court for their alleged role in beating up and extorting money from Navarro.
Meanwhile, Ricketts was charged with graft for allegedly allowing the pullout of seized pirated DVDs (digital video discks) that would have served as evidence against suspected counterfeiters in March 2010.
The Ombudsman said Ricketts gave undue preference to Sky High Marketing Corp. when he ordered the confiscation of pirated DVDs and VCDs (video compact discs) from the firm’s office only to have the evidence withdrawn.
On May 27, 2010, the OMB seized 127 boxes and two sacks of pirated DVDs, VCDs and a video recording human I.P.C. Its agents also arrested three Chinese nationals during the raid in Quiapo, Manila.
The seized items were brought to the OMB office in the afternoon but were pulled out in the evening of the same day without any approved gate pass and loaded onto a vehicle owned by Sky High, the investigators said.
Accused with Ricketts for graft are Executive Director Cyrus Paul Valenzuela, Head of the Enforcement and Inspection Division (EID) Manuel Mangubat, Investigation Agent I Joseph Arnaldo and computer operator Glenn Perez. IDL