PNP forms tracker team to locate other respondents in PDAF scam

By , on June 24, 2014

Philippine National Police Headquarters / Wikipedia Photo
Philippine National Police Headquarters / Wikipedia Photo

MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) has formed a tracker team headed by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) that have been send off in several parts of the country to locate the rest of the respondents in the graft and plunder charges in connection with the P10 billion pork barrel scam.

In a briefing Tuesday in Camp Crame, Chief Insp. Elizabeth Jasmin, CIDG spokesperson, said the tracker teams are actually part of the contingency measures that the CIDG has long prepared in anticipation for the issuance of the arrest warrants in the pork plunder case.

Jasmin said part of their contingency is to coordinate with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to determine how many accused have so far left the country.

Earlier reports revealed that at least 10 accused in the graft and plunder case are out of the country.

During the briefing, Chief Superintendent Reuben Theodore Sindac, chief of PNP Public Information Office (PIO), added that aside from tracker teams, all police stations across the country will be provided with the copy of the arrest warrants in the plunder case.

Senator Juan Ponce Enrile is expected to be in jail if the Sandiganbayan will find probable cause on the plunder case filed by the Ombudsman and issues an arrest warrant against him.

Sindac said the same procedure would be applied if ever an arrest warrant against Enrile is issued by the anti-graft court.

So far, only four of the accused in the two plunder cases have been served with arrest warrants — Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, Revilla’s chief of staff Richard Cambe and the suspected pork barrel scam mastermind, Janet Lim Napoles.

Revilla, Estrada and Cambe are now detained inside the PNP Custodial Center at Camp Crame in Quezon City while Janet Lime Napoles is already detained in a police camp at Fort Sto. Domingo in Sta. Rosa, Laguna for serious illegal detention filed by whistle-blower and former employee Benhur Luy.

According to Senior Supt. Roberto Fajardo, head of the CIDG in NCR, they still have to serve the two arrest warrants to Napoles as a matter of legal procedure.

Napoles is respondent both in the two plunder cases filed against Estrada and Revilla, being handled by the 5th and 1st Divisions of the Sandiganbayan, respectively.

Napoles is also among the respondents in the plunder case leveled against Senator Juan Ponce Enrile that was raffled off to the 3rd Division.

For Revilla’s plunder case, included is Napoles’ brother, Ronald John Lim, and her driver John Raymund de Asis.

For Estrada’s plunder case, De Asis is also a respondent and the senator’s staff, Pauline Labayen, who is still in hiding.

Plunder is a non-bailable offense, although a court may grant bail if the evidence against the respondent is weak just in the case of the co-accused of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in connection with the more than P300-million PCSO plunder case.

On the other hand, more than 25 other respondents on the separate graft charges against Revilla and Estrada remain unaccounted. It was learned that at least 20 respondents, including Napoles’ children and Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, have already posted bail.