Sandigan reduces charges vs Gatchalians, Pichay
The Sandiganbayan has dismissed the charges of malversation and violation of banking rules against Senator Sherwin Gatchalian, Valenzuela 1st District Rep. Weslie Gatchalian and three other members of their family.
But, at the same time, the court sustained the findings of probable cause to proceed with the graft trial of the Gatchalians, Surigao del Sur 1st District Rep. Prospero Pichay, and several former Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) officials and Express Savings Bank Inc. (ESBI) executives.
The following cases have been dismissed:
– Malversation against all accused officials and executives;
– Violation of the General Banking Law of 2000 against Pichay and other LWUA officials Eduardo Bangayan, Aurelio Puentevella, Enrique Senen Montilla III, Wilfredo Feleo Jr. and the late Daniel Landingin;
– Violation of Section X126.2(c)(2) of the Manual of Regulation for Banks against the Gatchalians and all other defendants, except Pichay, Feleo and Montilla;
– Graft against Bangayan, Puentevella and the late Landingin.
On the other hand, the trial for the following cases will still continue:
– Violation of MORB against Pichay, Feleo and Montilla;
– Graft against Pichay, Feleo, Montilla, the Gatchalians, and ESBI executives Yolanda dela Cruz, Arthur Ponsaran, Geronimo Velasco, Jr., Peter Salud, Rogelio Garcia, Lamberto Mercado, Jr., Evelyn dela Rosa, Joaquin Obieta, Elvira Ting, George Chua, Gregorio Ipong, Wilfred Billena Generoso Tulagan and Edita Bueno.
The said criminal charges arose from the then Pichay-led LWUA’s acquisition of a majority stake in an insolvent thrift bank co-owned by the Gatchalian family in 2009. RAM
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