(Eagle News) — The Sandiganbayan has suspended Deputy Speaker Prospero Pichay for 90 days.
The fourth division gave the order for Pichay to “cease and desist” from performing his functions as representative of the 1st district of Surigao del Sur to supposedly allow for an impartial probe into his graft case that stems from a supposedly anomalous banking agreement he entered into in 2009.
Pichay had argued he should not be meted out the preventive suspension as he was no longer connected with the Local Water Utilities Administration, whose board’s questionable approval of the acquisition of a Laguna-based thrift bank is the subject of the graft case.
According to the Ombudsman, the approval was made without the required go-signal from the Department of Finance, among other agencies.
According to the division, which also ordered Pichay to stop receiving his salaries and benefits during the period, his suspension was in accordance with Section 13 of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
“Any incumbent public officer against whom any criminal prosecution under a valid information under this Act or under Title Seven Book II of the Revised Penal Code or for any offense involving fraud upon government or public funds or property whether as a simple or as complex offense and in whatever stage of execution and mode of participation, is pending in court shall be suspended from office.,” the section said.
Pichay has said he would appeal the anti-graft court’s decision.