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SC affirms Sabio guilt

Alvin Murcia

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The Supreme Court on Wednesday clarified that immunity from suit does not extend to the alter egos of the President.

This was after the high bench denied the petition by former Presidential Commission on Good Governance (PCGG) Chair Camilo Sabio, questioning his conviction by the Sandiganbayan for violations of RA 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.

Sabio’s graft case stemmed from the lease of 11 motor vehicles entered into by the PCGG with the United Coconut Planters Bank Leasing and Finance Corporation in 2007-2009, without competitive bidding.

In a 10-page decision promulgated on 15 July 2019, the Third Division, through Justice Diosdado M. Peralta, held that “Sabio cannot claim immunity from suit for being an alter ego of the President.”

It was the PCGG, through Sabio and his Commissioners, not the President, who entered into the subject lease agreements without the requisite public bidding, the ruling said.

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