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Locsin brother acquitted of graft rap

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by Allan Yves Briones

Enrique Locsin, brother of Foreign Affairs Secretary Teddy Boy Locsin, Jr., was acquitted of graft charges over alleged anomalous salaries of over P15 million.

Associate Justice Michael Frederick Musngi of the Sandiganbayan Second Division ruled that the prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt the top executive’s guilt.

“Considering that the evidence relied upon by the prosecution is insufficient to prove the accused’s evident bad faith and the undue injury sustained, the court finds that the prosecution failed to establish beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused for violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act,” the decision reads.

In the case filed before the Sandiganbayan, the Office of the Ombudsman alleged that Enrique Locsin, in his stint as an executive from 2003 to 2005 at the Philippine Communication Satellite Corporation (Philcomsat) and Philippine Overseas Telecommunications Corporation, received a salary of P900,000 for three years, travel allowance of P550,000 and other benefits totaling P15 million.

Another executive, who was also included in the case filed, Manuel Andal also supposedly received a sum total of P11 million.

These salaries and allowances were described by the prosecution as “grossly exorbitant”, in direct violation of Memorandum Circular No. 40 requiring that the maximum salary of officials be set at P180,000.

In his motion, Locsin argued that the prosecution failed to prove that he is a public official referred to in the circular. Instead, his salaries and benefits were granted by the Philcomsat Holdings Corporation – a private corporation distinct from the agencies.

Division Chairperson Oscar Herrera, Jr. and Associate Justice Lorifel Pahimna were also undersigned in the court resolution.

Locsin and Andal were nominated by then President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as members of the PHILCOMSAT and POTC boards. #

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