Sandiganbayan orders 90-day suspension on DBM Usec, 14 others on PDAF scam

By on May 9, 2017


The Sandiganbayan has ordered a 90-day suspension pendente lite on Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary for Operations Mario Relampagos for his alleged involvement in the multi-million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam of former Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) party-list Rep. Edgar Valdez.  (Photo: Wikipedia)
The Sandiganbayan has ordered a 90-day suspension pendente lite on Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary for Operations Mario Relampagos for his alleged involvement in the multi-million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam of former Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) party-list Rep. Edgar Valdez. (Photo: Wikipedia)

MANILA—The Sandiganbayan has ordered a 90-day suspension pendente lite on Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undersecretary for Operations Mario Relampagos for his alleged involvement in the multi-million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam of former Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) party-list Rep. Edgar Valdez.

Also suspended were DBM officials Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule and Marilou Bare; Technology Resource Center (TRC) officials Marivic Jover and Consuelo Lilian Espitritu; ZNAC Rubber Estate Corporation officials Salvador Salacup and Eduardo Nolasco; National Agri-Business Corporation (NABCor) officials Romulo Relevo and Maria Ninez Guañizo; and National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC) officials Gondelina Amata, Gregoria Buenaventura, Chita Jalandoni, Sofia Cruz and Ofelia Ordoñez.

“Suspension pendente lite is a measure imposed by the law to safeguard the state while the case is pending and the accused is not penalized per se. Rather, the suspension under Section 13 of R.A. No. 3019 is a mere preventive measure that arises from the legal presumption that unless the accused is suspended, he may frustrate his prosecution or commit further acts of malfeasance or do both,” the Sandiganbayan said.

Valdez, Relampagos and the other co-accused stand trial for violation of Section 3(e) of Republic Act No. 3019, or the “Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act”, after investigation showed that Valdez siphoned more than PHP50 million in kickbacks when he channeled his 2007 to 2009 PDAF to non-government organizations (NGOs) controlled by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

Napoles is the alleged “brains” behind the PHP10-billion pork barrel and the PHP900-million Malampaya Fund scam.

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    So what about the Sena – tong and the Tong – gressman belonging to the PDP – Laban Supre majorities who benefited both from the DAP largesse and the PDAF scam?
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    A backgrounder on the PDAF Scam: A special audit report on the pork barrel disbursed from 2007 to 2009 that the Commission on Audit (COA) released in August 2013 indicates that at least a hundred former and current members of the House of Representatives may have abused the system and received kickbacks from Napoles.
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    The discovery of the supposed collusion between Napoles and her bogus NGOs and many lawmakers to defraud the government of taxpayers’ money even led the Supreme Court in November 2013 to declare as unconstitutional the allocation of pork-barrel monies to legislators.
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    Five legal experts inside and outside government were queried separately by PCIJ on the OSG’s manifestation regarding Napoles’s illegal-detention case.
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    Speaking on condition of anonymity, they agreed that while it may not for now have a direct impact on the pork-barrel cases pending before the Sandiganbayan, questions might be raised about the integrity of Benhur Luy’s testimonies in the illegal detention case, and against Napoles.
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    The question of common concern to the five lawyers interviewed by PCIJ is this:
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    This is dangerous because of the indirect impact on (pending) pork cases of former senators:
    – Juan Ponce-Enrile,
    – Jinggoy Estrada and
    – Bong Revilla.
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    Query: Has the Duterte administration forged a modus vivendi with Janet Lim Napoles?
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    For what reason/s?
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    For what purpose/s?
    .