Deputy Speaker and Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay wants the Sandiganbayan to summarily junk the case against him over his alleged irregular sponsoring of a chess tournament.
He said the evidence presented against him by the Ombudsman was weak.
In his Sept. 10 appeal to the denial of his earlier demurrer to evidence he earlier filed at the antigraft court’s Fifth Division on September 10, Pichay said the prosecution failed to prove its allegation that he violated Section 7(a) of the Code of Conduct and Ethial Standards for Public Officials.
“Accused Pichay, consistent with his constitutional right to be presumed innocent, respectfully prays that the instant case be dismissed for insufficiency in evidence,” Pichay said in his appeal to the denial of his demurrer.
Pichay, former Local Water Utilities Administration Board of Trustees chairman, is facing charges owing to his approval of the release of P1.5 million to sponsor the 2nd Chairman Prospero Pichay Jr. Cup International Chess Championship.
Ombudsman investigators claimed Pichay benefitted from the contract because he was also the president of the National Chess Federation of the Philippines at the time it was signed.
Pichay in his plea said his duties at the NCFP “are not opposed to or affected by the faithful performance of his official duties with LWUA.”
He also denied having financial interests in the contract since the NCFP is a non-profit organization that is tasked to oversee the sport in the country.
“While the NCFP may have indeed held a chess tournament in the name of accused Pichay Jr., nonetheless, such act alone will not amount to or may not be considered as pecuniary or propriety interest on the part of accused Pichay as contemplated,” the motion said.
Pichay also noted the prosecution’s inability to prove he benefitted from the chess tournament.
“It is well-settled that what was alleged in the information must be proven by the prosecution beyond reasonable doubt. If the prosecution fails to prove the allegations, the accused is entitled to nothing less than the dismissal of the case,” Pichay said.