Pardoned prisoner refuses to pay back P184M

Posted at 09/27/12 7:54 PM

MANILA, Philippines - A life-termer who received a pardon from former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has refused to pay P184 million in government money that the Sandiganbayan had ordered him to pay.

The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division earlier found Jaime Ochoa, a former foreign trader analyst of the National Power Corporation, guilty of falsifying an application for cashier's check with the Philippine National Bank for the sum of P183,805,291.25. The court sentenced him to reclusion perpetua and the return of the money.

Ochoa was sent to New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City on February 23, 2006 but discharged 10 months later based on a conditional pardon dated November 30, 2006 signed by then Executive Secretary Eduardo R. Ermita in behalf of Mrs. Arroyo.

Government prosecutors, meanwhile, urged the Sandiganbayan to compel Ochoa to satisfy the fine imposed in the guilty verdict. Ochoa has said the presidential pardon remitted not just the jail sentence but the fine.