Gatchalian ‘vindicated, humbled’ by dismissal of LWUA cases
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said he felt vindicated and humbled by the Sandiganbayan’s junking of all criminal charges against him over the alleged anomalous buyout of a bank that his family co-owns as he expressed hope that all others involved would also be absolved.
In a 53-page resolution, the anti-graft court found no probable cause to try Gatchalian for the 2009 acquisition of Express Savings Bank, Inc. (ESBI) by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).
“Throughout this entire ordeal I have held my head up high, confident that these baseless accusations against me would not stick. Today, my honor as a man and my integrity as a public servant have been vindicated by the dismissal of these groundless charges before the honorable Sandiganbayan,” Gatchalian said in a statement on Wednesday.
The senator, who was in Beijing with President Rodrigo Duterte when the ruling was reported in the media, questioned the wisdom of the Ombudsman’s “aggressive pursuit of such a weak case” against him, considering he said that he had never been involved in the management or day-to-day operations of the bank.
He said his only involvement in the bank at the time of its sale to LWUA in 2009 was his ownership of 14 shares of stock, representing .00001886062 percent of the total shareholdings of the company.
The value of his shares, Gatchalian said, was approximately P2,500 only.
“Thankfully, the fairness and objectivity of the courts prevailed to clear my name. As always, I put my full faith and trust in the judiciary. I am hopeful that justice will also prevail to absolve the others involved in this case,” the senator said.
To “rebuild” his reputation as a public servant, Gatchalian said he would work harder to promote the interests of the Filipino people in the Senate.
“This has certainly been a humbling experience. Through this hardship, my purpose as a public servant—to help improve the lives of my countrymen—has been renewed,” he said.
“Now, more than ever, I am inspired to prove my worth as a public servant by performing my duties as senator with greater passion, competence, and dedication,” the senator added. RAM/rga
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.