ER Ejercito, 8 others face graft raps over insurance deal
Emilio Ramon “ER” Ejercito, the disqualified governor of Laguna, along with eight other persons were charged with graft before the Sandiganbayan over an anomalous insurance deal made in 2008.
The Ombudsman’s Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) charged Ejercito and the eight individuals on Wednesday with the violation of Section 3 (e) of Republic Act (RA) 3019 or the Anti-graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
Other people who were included in the four-page information were former Pagsanjan vice mayor Crisostomo Vilar and former municipal councilors Arlyn Lazaro-Torres, Terryl Gamit-Talabong, Kalahi Rabago, Erwin Sacluti, Gener Dimaranan and Ronaldo Sablan.
Marilyn Bruel, the owner of First Rapids Care Ventures, was also named as a respondent in the case.
Based on the information filed by the OSP, Ejercito and other Pagsanjan local officials acted “with manifest partiality, evident bad faith, and/ or gross inexcusable negligence” when they entered with FRCV without public bidding as provided for in Republic Act 9184.The OSP also found out that the said company was not licensed by the Insurance Commission to engage in the insurance business.
“This is to certify that, based on records, a preliminary investigation was conducted in this case, that there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that the crime charged was committed and that the accused are probably guilty thereof,” the OSP said in the certification attached in the charge sheet.
The insurance deal entered by the Pagsanjan officials was supposed to provide “accident protection and financial assistance to tourists and boatmen plying the route to and from the Pagsanjan Gorge Tourist Zone.
The OSP’s certification read: “This is to certify that, based on records, a preliminary investigation was conducted in this case, that there is sufficient ground to engender a well-founded belief that the crime charged was committed and that the accused are probably guilty thereof.”
The OSP recommended bail at P30,000 each.
Before Ejercito was disqualified as governor, Ejercito was the mayor of Pagsanjan town from 2001 to 2010.
He was disqualified in 2014 after the Commission on Elections found that he has gone overboard in his campaign expenses during the 2013 elections.
The Supreme Court has ruled with finality on his disqualification last February.
The Comelec has also ruled that Ejercito can run in the May elections. CDG
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