by Allan Yves Briones
The Sandiganbayan 4th Division granted Surigao del Sur Representative Prospero Pichay’s subpoena against the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) for several documents relevant to his pending graft cases.
“Precisely, the documents requested in the motion may indeed be in the custody of the PDIC,” the court said in a resolution promulgated September 6. “Considering the foregoing, accused Pichay should not be deprived of his right.”
On July 30, 2019, Pichay, through his lawyers, filed a Motion for Issuance of Subpoena Duces Tecum directing the PDIC to produce the following documents:
- Motion for Approval of Project Distribution
- Project Distribution Assets of Express Savings Bank, Inc. (ESBI)
- Statement of Affairs/Condition of ESBI
- Notice of Claim submitted by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA)
- Any other document showing the claim of LWUA against PDIC
- Any other document showing the amount paid by LWUA to ESBI
In a separate motion, the prosecution argued that the documents requested by Pichay were not included in his list of evidence during the pre-trial.
However, the court found that the pre-trial rule admits exceptions, citing the Supreme Court case of Cruz vs. People.
“This provision, however, allows for an exception: when allowed by the court for good cause shown,” the resolution stated. “[T]his Court has previously defined it as any substantial reason ‘that affords a legal excuse’.”
The court directed PDIC’s legal department to present and produce the requested documents at the next hearing.
Pichay currently faces a criminal charge for violating Section 3 (e) of Republic Act No. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and X126.2 (c) (1) (2) of the Manual of Regulation for Banks in relation to Sections 36 and 37 of Republic Act No. 7653.
The case originated from allegations of corruption when Pichay approved an allegedly anomalous buyout of an insolvent bank during his stint as LWUA chairman.
Division Chairperson Alex Quiroz wrote the resolution, concurred by Associate Justices Reynaldo Cruz and Edgardo Caldona.