SURIGAO del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. is facing another charges before the Sandiganbayan over an alleged inappropriate release of government money for a chess event.
State prosecutors yesterday charged Pichay with graft and violation of the code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees for allegedly approving the release of P1.5 million funds of the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) as donation for a chess tournament.
The infringement took place when Pichay chaired the LWUA in 2010.
Pichay has a pending graft and malversation cases over the acquisition of a thrift bank amounting to P80 million using the LWUA money.
Also ordered indicted were LWUA former deputy acting administrator Wilfredo Feleo, former senior deputy administrator Emmanuel Malicdem and former administrator Daniel Landingin.
The state prosecutors said Pichay gave undue favor to the National Chess Federation of the Philippines (NCFP).
Initial investigation showed that on Aug. 2, 2010, the NCFP, also chaired by Pichay at that time, wrote to the LWUA asking for sponsorship of the 2nd Chairman Prospero Pichay Jr. Cup International Chess Championship.
Pichay and the LWUA Board of Trustees voted for the approval of the LWUA’s 2010 corporate operating budget that had a “noticeably sizable allocation” of P1.5 million for chess events despite being not part of the agency’s functions.
“The above acts by the accused public officials allowed the diversion of public funds to the NCFP’s control and benefit, when, in fact, said private organization was not entitled to the aforesaid sponsorship grant,” the charge sheet read.
“The concerted approval and release of the funds was intentionally done to favor Pichay to the prejudice of the Filipino people and of the Republic of the Philippines,” the charge added.
Pichay was accused of allegedly having financial and material interest in sponsoring the chess tournament at a time when he concurrently held the position of the LWUA acting board chairman and president of the NCFP.