Gatchalian posts bail on graft raps | Inquirer News

Gatchalian posts bail on graft raps

By: - Reporter / @deejayapINQ
/ 05:33 AM July 16, 2016

Win Gatchalian

Senator-elect Sherwin Gatchalian. SCREENGRAB FROM

SEN. SHERWIN Gatchalian yesterday posted bail on graft and malversation charges in connection with the alleged fraudulent transfer of P780 million in Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) funds to an insolvent bank owned by his family.

To avoid arrest, Gatchalian, along with three other respondents, paid a cash bond of P90,000 each, at the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division, completing the paperwork for his temporary liberty while the court was hearing the case.


On Thursday, the senator and four other members of his family, including his father, plastics tycoon William Gatchalian, were indicted on graft, malversation and a violation of Republic Act No. 8791, also known as the General Banking Law of 2000.


Also charged were Davao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr., who formerly chaired the LWUA, and several others involved in the supposedly anomalous banking transactions.

The Office of the Ombudsman alleged that the Gatchalians had made a windfall of P80 million when LWUA bought Express Savings Bank Inc. (Esbi), a Laguna-based thrift bank, in 2009.

The Gatchalians are the executives and owners of Wellex Group (WGI) and Forum Pacific Inc. (FPI), which owned and operated Esbi at the time of the acquisition. Pichay was the chair of the LWUA at the time of the transactions.

Also indicted were the senator’s mother, Dee Hua Gatchalian; his brothers, Kenneth and newly elected Valenzuela Representative Weslie.

WGI officials Elvira Ting and Yolanda de la Cruz; FPI executives Peter Salud, Geronimo Velasco Jr., Rogelio Garcia, Lamberto Mercado Jr., Evelyn de la Rosa, Arthur Ponsaran and Joaquin Obieta; Esbi officials George Chua, Gregorio Ipong, Generoso Tulagan, Wilfred Billena and Edita Bueno, and former LWUA officials Eduardo Bangayan, Aurelio Puentevella, Enrique Senen Montilla III, Wilfredo Feleo, and Daniel Landingin and Arnaldo Espinas, were also named respondents.

Pichay was charged with three counts of violation of Section 3(e) of RA 3019, or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, three counts of malversation, and a violation of RA 8791.


The Gatchalians were charged with one count each of the violations, while the rest faced varying sets of charges, depending on their roles in the transactions.

Gatchalian, a former three-term mayor of Valenzuela City and also a former congressman, has denied any wrongdoing.

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“During my 15-year career in public service, I have never had any allegations of corruption or abuse of power thrown my way,” he said in an earlier statement.

TAGS: Graft, LWUA, malversation, Sandiganbayan

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