Pichay faces raps over chess tourney that used gov't funds

Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 20 2016 01:02 PM

MANILA - Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. faces another legal battle before the Sandiganbayan over a chess event sponsored by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA) when Pichay was acting chairman.

Pichay is facing charges of graft and violation of code of conduct and ethical standards for public officials and employees cases for allegedly approving the release of P1.5 million LWUA funds in 2010 for the chess event.

Also ordered indicted were former deputy acting administrator Wilfredo Feleo, former senior deputy administrator Emmanuel Malicdem and former administrator Daniel Landingin.

State prosecutors accused Pichay of giving undue favor to the National Chess Federation of the Philippines(NCFP).

Ombudsman investigation stated that on August 2, 2010, the NCFP, that was also chaired by Pichay at that time, wrote to LWUA asking for sponsorship of the 2nd Chairman Prospero Pichay Jr. Cup International Chess Championship.

A week later, former administrator Daniel Landingin issued a memorandum suspending LWUA's support to all sports and cultural activities to give way to their operations expenditures.

Despite this, Feleo and Malicdim allegedly recommended the grant of sponsorship request, and Feleo and Landingin signed the P1.5 million check to NCFP.

"The above acts by the accused public officials this allowed the diversion of public funds to 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," it read.