MANILA — The Office of the Ombudsman on Monday slapped 42 counts of graft against three senators, businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, two of her children, officials of government firms and private persons at the Sandiganbayan.
Beating the office hours, officials of the Ombudsman filed cases of graft in connection with alleged fraudulent transactions involving a total of Php 1.14 billion Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) otherwise known as pork barrel funds from 2004 to 2010.
Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada who had been charged with plunder along with Napoles is facing fresh charges before the Sandiganbayan.
Napoles was charged in all 42 counts with a recommended bail of Php30,000 for each case or a total of Php1.26 million.
She will remain in detention however even if she posts bail because of a non-bailable criminal charge filed by her former staff, Benhur Luy, which is now pending before the Makati Regional Trial Court.
Also facing the same number of charges is Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos for allegedly facilitating the release of the funds.
Enrile is facing 15 graft charges along with his former chief of staff Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes for allegedly mishandling pork barrel funds totaling Php345 million released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Among those named co-accused in these cases were Napoles’ daughter Jo Christine and son James Christopher.
Revilla and his staff Richard Cambe were named in 16 counts over alleged irregularities in the disbursement of the lawmaker’s Php517 million PDAF.
Estrada and staff Pauline Therese Mary Labayen were indicted in 11 graft charges for questioned transactions on his PDAF in the sum of Php278 million.
Also named in the multiple graft charges were National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) former president Alan Javellana and Technology Resource Center former director generals Dennis Cunanan and Antonio Ortiz.
Court informants said the plunder and graft charges relative to the PDAF scam will be raffled to different Sandiganbayan divisions this Friday, based on the regular schedule of the graft court.
Under the rules, prosecutors may file a motion for the consolidation of all cases under one division if they can prove that there is commonality of evidence, transactions and circumstances.