Ailing Vice Gov Sanchez uses thumbmark to sign affidavit

Posted on April 19, 2011


By Ador Vincent Mayol, Reporter
The health condition of Vice Gov. Gregorio Sanchez Jr. may be more grave than earlier reported.
In his counteraffidavit dated April 18, wherein he  responded to a graft complaint over the 2008 purchase of the  Balili property,
 Sanchez simply affixed his thumbprint instead of signing it.
The unusual gesture gave rise to questions on whether  Sanchez was too ill to sign his own name.
Copies of the document were released yesterday.
A press conference is scheduled at 10 a.m. today by his children in the family-owned LactoPafi business office where they are
expected to give an update on the health of the vice governor.
Sanchez  is on   leave from March to  April 30 to seek medical treatment.
 In the last press conference two weeks ago, his two daughters said  the vice governor, who remains in hospital,   was suffering from a
growth in his esophagus and had difficulty speaking and swallowing.
But they described  Sanchez  as still capable of handling his affairs, and that he was  even signing checks and billings.
  Yesterday, his lawyer Oliveros Kintanar  in an interview  said  Sanchez would have signed the counteraffidavit.
But Kintanar said he advised his client to put his thumbmark instead because his handwriting  may not be clear and precise.
 In his counteraffdavit, Sanchez reiterated his innocence over the P98.9 million Balili lot fiasco.
“There is nothing that would implicate me for the offense charged. There is no evidence that I caused undue injury to any party
neither is there evidence that I gave any party unwarranted benefits,” he said.
Sanchez requested the Ombudsman to dismiss the complaint against him because the evidence against him.
He is under investigation by the Preliminary Investigation and Administrative Bureau (PARB) of the Ombudsman in Manila.
He and the board were charged with “gross inexcusable negligence” in relation to the 2008 Balili property transaction.
A government survey showed that the 24.7 hectare property in barangay Tina-an, Naga City is public domain and mostly underwater.
Sanchez and the board were held them liable for signing a 2007 resolution that led to the purchase of the property despite the
absence of a feasibility study and a thorough verification of the area.
Although he signed the resolution, Sanchez said he did so “in the exercise of my ministerial duty as acting governor.”
He said he didnt preside the PB session that approved the resolution paving the way for the land purchase.
“I was one of those who openly denounced the Balili deal and urged the return of the money paid by the provincial government of
Cebu to the landowner,” he said.
On Jan. 14, 2008, former Board Member Jaun Bolo presented to the PB a resolution authorizing Cebu Gov. Gwendolyn Garcia to
execute and sign for and in behalf of the province the sale of 10 parcels of land owned by Luis Balili.
On April 21, 2008, Bolo presented an amended resolution.
This time, the agreement would allow the governor to purchase 11 parcels of land of the Balili beach property.
Sanchez believed that the province “is equipped with sufficient machinery and personnel to undertake the examination and
verification of such transactions.”
Last year, the Ombudsman-Visayas found sufficient basis to investigate Governor Garcia and other Capitol officials for the Balili lot
The Provincial Appraisal Committee (PAC) and the Technical Working Group (TWG) are also under investigation.
Lawyer Romeo  Balili , the executor of the estate owned by the late Luis  Balili , and Luis’ wife Amparo will also be investigated along
with Provincial Budget Officer Emme Gingoyon.
Gingoyon earlier certified that there were available funds for the purchase despite the absence of an appropriation ordinance.