Court bars ex-congressman, 32 others from leaving PH

Court bars ex-congressman, 32 others from leaving PH
Former Benguet Representative Samuel Dangwa faces graft and bribery charges in connection with the pork barrel scam

MANILA, Philippines – Anti-graft court Sandiganbayan on Friday, February 13 issued hold departure orders against former Benguet representative Samuel Dangwa and 32 others charged with malversation and graft over the pork barrel scam. 

Dangwa is facing 5 counts of malversation, 6 counts of graft charges, and 5 counts of direct bribery charges over the biggest corruption scandal to hit the Philippines in recent years. 

The Ombudsman filed charges against Dangwa and 4 other lawmakers before the anti-graft court on February 5 after denying their motions for reconsideration

The Sandiganbayan had also earlier issued hold departure orders against 3 senators charged in first batch of plunder and graft cases in connection with the scam.

Dangwa earlier posted a P530,000 bail for his temporary liberty, a GMA News report quoting Sandiganbayan Third Division clerk of court Dennis Pulma said. 

His son and former chief of staff Erwin Dangwa also posted bail amounting to P430,000. The younger Dangwa is facing graft and malversation charges. 

Dangwa is accused of misusing P54 million worth of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocated to him during his term as legislator.  

Under the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam, lawmakers allegedly connived with government officials and fake non-governmental organizations controlled by Janet Lim Napoles to siphon off billions worth of public funds.  

Congress abolished the PDAF scheme following the expose. The Supreme Court later declared discretionary funds for lawmakers as unconstitutional. –

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