Ombudsman suspends ex-lawmaker-A A +A
Friday, May 20, 2011
MANILA (Updated 2:30 p.m.) -- The Office of the Ombudsman on Friday ordered the suspension of Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) chair Prospero Pichay over the agency's acquisition of a thrift bank in 2008.
Criminal charges were filed on April 5, 2011 against Pichay and LWUA board members Renator Velasco, Susana Dumlao Vargas, Bonifacio Mario Pena Sr. and Daniel Landingan for the alleged anomalous acquisition of a troubled thrift bank.
Pichay is a former congressman representing Surigao del Sur.
The respondents reportedly endorsed the acquisition of a cash-strapped thrift bank, Express Savings Bank Inc. (EXSBI), which in turn caused a P480-million loss to the government.
The complaint was filed by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, in his concurrent capacity as member of the Monetary Board, the policy-making body of the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
LWUA is a government-owned-and-controlled corporation as a specialized lending institution for the promotion, development and financing of local water utilities, and as depository of the reserves for capital improvement of local water utilities.
EXSBI, on the other hand, is a Laguna-based thrift bank with an authorized capital stock of P100 million divided into one million common shares.
The bank has allegedly been suffering deficiencies since 2005, that by end of 2009, it has posted a capital deficiency of more than P51 million. The bank is originally 86.7 percent controlled by the family group of Valenzuela Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian.
The complainant said that without obtaining the requisite approvals from the Department of Finance, the Office of the President, and the Monetary Board, LWUA pushed through with the acquisition of the 485,337 shares of stock constituting approximately 60 percent of the outstanding capital stock of EXSBI worth P80-million. (Sunnex)