Second Gatchalian pleads not guilty to bank case raps
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian pleaded not guilty to charges of graft, malversation and violation of banking rules during his conditional arraignment on Monday.
The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division required the senator to undergo conditional arraignment in exchange for permission for him to travel abroad as part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s delegation during his state visit to China from October 18 to 22.
Gatchalian will also be required to post a travel bond of P270,000.
Magistrates of the division earlier scolded Gatchalian’s camp for submitting a request only days before he was to join Duterte’s delegation.
Gatchalian dropped his original plan to join Duterte in his state visit to Brunei over the weekend and opted to head directly to Beijing on October 18.
The neophyte senator is facing criminal charges for the Local Water Utilities Administration’s purchase of a majority stake in an insolvent thrift bank co-owned by his family.
His co-accused and brother, Valenzuela City 1st District Rep. Weslie Gatchalian, has already been granted permission to go to China. He likewise entered a not guilty plea during his conditional arraignment. CBB/rga