Vindication was the theme of the day as the Fourth Division of the Sandiganbayan resolved to dismiss all criminal charges filed against Senator Win Gatchalian in relation to the 2009 acquisition of Express Savings Bank, Inc. (ESBI) by the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).
Gatchalian was exonerated by the Sandiganbayan upon its finding that there is no probable cause to compel the senator to stand trial for any of the charges levied against him by the Ombudsman.
“Throughout this entire ordeal I have held my head up high, confident that these baseless accusations against me would not stick. Today, my honor as a man and my integrity as a public servant have been vindicated by the dismissal of these groundless charges before the honorable Sandiganbayan,” said Gatchalian, who is currently in Beijing to accompany President Rodrigo Duterte on his state visit to the People’s Republic of China.
Gatchalian questioned the wisdom of the Ombudsman’s aggressive pursuit of such a weak case against him, considering the fact that he had never been involved in the management or day-to-day operations of ESBI.
Gatchalian also pointed out that his only involvement in ESBI at the time of its sale to LWUA in 2009 was his ownership of 14 shares of stock, representing .00001886062 percent of the total shareholdings of the company, valued at approximately P2,500.
“Thankfully, the fairness and objectivity of the courts prevailed to clear my name. As always, I put my full faith and trust in the judiciary. I am hopeful that justice will also prevail to absolve the others involved in this case,” said Gatchalian.
Moving forward, Gatchalian said he was determined to rebuild his reputation as a public servant by working even harder to promote the interests of the Filipino people in the Senate.
“This has certainly been a humbling experience. Through this hardship my purpose as a public servant – to help improve the lives of my countrymen – has been renewed. Now, more than ever, I am inspired to prove my worth as a public servant by performing my duties as senator with greater passion, competence, and dedication,” said Gatchalian.