Manolo lopez says Sabio’s charges a fabrication

By Euan Paulo C. Anonuevo, Reporter

The chairman of Meralco denied any involvement in an alleged bribery attempt on Associate Justice Jose Sabio of the Court of Appeals for Sabio to take Meralco’s side in its legal dispute with the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS).

Manolo Lopez, during a press conference held on Friday, belied Sabio’s claim that he was “waiting in a car” when businessman Francis Roa de Borja offered the appellate-court justice P10 million to inhibit himself from the row involving fight for control of the Manila Electric Co, or Meralco, the country’s largest power distributor.

Lopez said he was in the United States having a medical check-up when the alleged meeting took place on July 1 at the Ateneo Law School in upscale Rockwell in Makati City.

“I categorically and vehemently deny the allegations of Justice Jose Sabio. Mind you, I do not have the habit of waiting in the car for anybody except my wife. The [allegations are] malicious and pure fabrication. I am a resident of Rockwell,” he pointed out.

To support Lopez’s claim, company officials presented before media the Meralco chairman’s boarding passes when he went to the United States on June 27 and returned to the country on July 13.

Although he admitted knowing de Borja, Lopez said they were “more of social friends than anything else.”

“I know Francis but I have not authorized him or anybody to make representations for [me on] any matter that involves cases of Meralco and the Lopez family. We have retainers and lawyers to handle legal matters,” he said.

Lopez added that his wife and de Borja’s wife, who belong to a religious group, are “closer” to one another than he and Francis are.

Despite the accusations hurled by Sabio, the Meralco chairman said he still has to decide if he will file any case in court against Sabio.

He added that Sabio, who also has claimed that the Lopezes are out to get him, has nothing to fear from his family, who themselves have “suffered setbacks, legal or otherwise, for the past years.”

The dispute between Meralco and the GSIS stemmed from the government pension fund’s failed try, through its head Winston Garcia, to wrest control of the utility from the Lopezes in May this year during the utility’s annual stockholders’ meeting.

The GSIS was able to secure a temporary restraining order from the Securities and Exchange Commission to halt the meeting.

Meralco’s management elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals. (ManilaTimes)

One Response to “Manolo lopez says Sabio’s charges a fabrication”

  1. Joe Diaz Says:

    Based on this affidavit, I believe tha Justice Sabio has no other recourse but to resign as a member of the Court of Appeals. He teaches law at the Ateneo.I am sure they have these test questions Where a Judge is approached by a friend about a pending case The reply is: I am sorry my friend I can’t discuss anything on that case unless it is in the presence of the other members of the division and if it has to do with the merits of the case” then the Counsels for both parties have to be present. If he spoke with de Borja about that case and based on the dialogue it would appear that Justice Sabio has violated the Judicial ethics. I would be surprised if he would still be teaching Law anywhere after this incident. To say that what he did is inappropriate in an understatement. Before the end of the year I believe he will resign. Justice Sabio’s defense is simple Let he who has not sinned caste the first stone.

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