THE Office of the Ombudsman has filed graft charges at the Sandiganbayan against former Presidential Commission on Good Government (PCGG) chairman Camilo Sabio over his alleged attempt to persuade his late brother, who was then a justice of the Court of Appeals, to help a litigant in 2008.
Director Moreno Generoso of the Ombudsman’s Preliminary Investigation and Administrative Adjudication Bureau-B, in two charge sheets, accused Sabio of violation of Section 3(a) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Bail was fixed at P60,000.
According to the Ombudsman, Sabio allegedly “allow[ed]himself to be persuaded, induced, or influenced by Atty. Jesus I. Santos” — who was a GSIS board member at the time — “by readily acceding to the latter’s request to persuade his brother, Justice Jose L. Sabio Jr., to help the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS)” in a case filed by the Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) which was then pending with the appeals court.
The case filed by Meralco against GSIS stemmed from an ownership row. It was raffled to the appeals court division then headed by Justice Sabio, who died in 2012.
Sabio allegedly persuaded, induced, or influenced a public officer to “perform an act constituting a violation of rule or regulation duly promulgated by competent authority” when he told his brother to favor the GSIS, the Ombudsman said, citing the anti-graft law.
The Ombudsman’s field investigators did not include the late Justice Sabio as a respondent “since records do not show that he had been influenced by his elder brother.”