Pork scam count: 2 detained, 20 posted bail
MANILA, Philippines – Only Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr and his staff Richard Cambe have been detained so far. This is on the day a first batch of suspects related to the pork barrel scam was ordered arrested by the Sandiganbayan.
As of closing time of the Sandiganbayan offices at 4:30 pm on Friday, June 20, twenty of the 54 accused in the country's biggest corruption scandal in recent years have posted bail. The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan approved their temporary liberty.
Both Revilla and Cambe have been committed to the custody of the Philippine National Police and are detained in the custodial center in Camp Crame. Both voluntarily surrendered to the court.
Alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles' children, whose arrests have yet to be ordered by the court, posted bail at P450,000 each. They are sure to be out of jail, ahead of the order to arrest them.
The two maintain their innocence, assigning guilt instead to "polluted" state witnesses, who named them in their testimonies as having participated in the siphoning of lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to ghost projects of dubious non-governmental organizations linked to their mother. They each face 15 counts of graft. (READ: Napoles children slam 'polluted' witnesses)
Former Technology Resource Center director general Dennis Cunanan also secured his temporary liberty, after he was ordered arrested along with Revilla's co-accused.
Likewise, Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos' motion to reduce bail was granted. He paid P240,000 in cash, half the amount initially set by the court for his 42 counts of graft.
Not in charge of PDAF
In an interview, Cambe's lawyer Mike Ancheta said his client was just used as a scapegoat by the PDAF scam whistleblowers.
He reiterated that his client was simply Revilla's legislative staff and was not in charge of the disbursement of the senators' PDAF.
The PDAF is a lump sum allocated to lawmakers for their community development pet projects. It has since been declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court, following the unraveling of the scam in 2013.
List based on court records
As of 4:30 pm Friday, among those who posted bail are:
- Mario Relampagos, Department of Budget and Management (DBM) Undesecretary
- Rosario Salamida Nuñez, DBM
- Lalaine Narag Paule, DBM
- Marilou Dialino Bare, DBM
- Dennis Cunanan, former TRC director general
- Francisco B. Figura, former TRC group manager
- Marivic V. Jover, TRC chief accountant
- Eulogio Rodriguez, JLN corporation employee
- Consuelo Lilian R. Espiritu, TRC budget officer IV
- Evelyn D. De Leon, president of Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc (PSDFI)
- Gondeline G. Amata, National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC) President
- Chita Jalandoni, NLDC's Finance and Administration Group Director IV
- Jocelyn D. Piorato, Agrikultura Para sa Magbubukid Foundation Inc (APMFI)
- Jesus Castillo Jr, Dalangpan San Aman Utod Foundation
- James Christopher Napoles, son of Janet Napoles
- Jo Christine Napoles, daughter of Janet Napoles
- Dorilyn Fabian, APMFI
- Nitz Cabilao, Kaupdan Para sa Mangunguma Foundation
- Fernando Ramirez, Napoles' employee
- Renato Ornopia, JLN Corporation employee
The Bureau of Immigration, on the other hand, said that only Ornopia and former TRC director general Antonio Ortiz have left the country. Travel records show they went abroad prior to the issuance of a hold departure order against them. – Rappler.com