Prosecutors ask Sandiganbayan to suspend 10 gov’t officials facing graft

By , on November 26, 2014

Sandiganbayan Building along Commonwealth, Quezon City. Photo courtesy of DGR Law Offices.
Sandiganbayan Building along Commonwealth, Quezon City. Photo courtesy of DGR Law Offices.

MANILA — Government prosecutors on Wednesday have asked Sandiganbayan to suspend 10 government officials charged with graft for their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.

In their motion, they said that accused government officials should be suspended while the graft cases against them is ongoing.

Among the officials listed charged with graft were Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, his budget staff Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule and Marilou Bare, Technology Resource Center (TRC) chief accountant Marivic Jover, National Livelihood Development Center (NLDC) president Gondelina Amata, her directors Emmanuel Sevidal and Chita Jalandoni, and staff Sofia Cruz and Gregoria Buenaventura.

They cited Section 13 of Republic Act No. 3019 or the anti-graft law in their motion which says incumbent public officials facing a valid information of criminal activity should be suspended from office. Relampagos is the only Cabinet official charged in the scam.

Relampagos and his budget officials were accused of expediting the release of the lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to implementing agencies, and in turn to the bogus nongovernment organizations (NGO) linked to accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.

TRC and NLDC were also accused of failure to implement the projects, leaving it to Napoles’ fake NGOs to use it in ghost projects for kickbacks.

At least three veteran lawmakers are now detained and charged with plunder and graft allegedly for allowing the Napoles NGOs to use their PDAF to finance ghost projects.

Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla are now detained in Camp Crame Custodial Center while Senator Juan Ponce Enrile is under hospital arrest at the headquarters of the Philippine National Police.