The Supreme Court has junked a petition seeking to declare as immediately executory the penalty of perpetual disqualification against former Surigao del Sur Representative Prospero Pichay Jr. as moot and academic.
During its En Banc session on Tuesday, the SC said it has previously affirmed a decision of the Office of the Ombudsman, among others, that imposed a penalty of dismissal and accessory penalties of forfeiture of all benefits except leave credits as well as perpetual disqualification against Pichay.
The Ombudsman had found Pichay liable under Section 52-A, Rule IV of the Uniform Rules on Administrative Cases in the Civil Service.
Pichay was suspended in May 2011 for the unlawful investment of P780 million from Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) funds in the cash-strapped Laguna-based thrift bank Express Savings Bank Inc.
The Supreme Court in January 2022, meanwhile, affirmed Pichay’s perpetual disqualification from service.
Pichay was the former head of LWUA.
The Sandiganbayan eventually found Pichay guilty of three counts of graft in connection with mismanagement of LWUA funds.
"I am determined to exhaust all possible legal remedies accorded to me by law," Pichay had said in a statement following his conviction. —Joahna Lei Casilao/KBK, GMA Integrated News