MANILA, Philippines – The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division on Monday, March 2, ordered the detention of former Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) Representative Edgar Valdez at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City once his condition improves.
Valdez had wanted to be detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame with senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr, but the anti-graft court denied his motion.
“In view of the foregoing interim medical condition of the accused, his attending physician at the PNP Hospital is directed to inform the Court of the medical condition of the accused within forty-eight (48) hours from receipt of the person of the accused,” the resolution said.
“Once his condition improvces, the Order of Commitment shall be given effect,” it added.”
Valdez was rushed to the PNP General hospital in Camp Crame after suffering high blood pressure and diabetes. He surrendered to authorities on February 25, two days after the court issued his arrest warrant.
Valdez wanted to be detained at the Custodial Center so that he could have “ready access” to the hospital for the monitoring of his condition. But the court ruled that medical certificates he submitted to courts, which were issued in 2013, did not prove that his “purported medical condition” would be aggravated once he becomes confined in a city jail.
The former APEC representative faces plunder charges and 7 counts of graft for allegedly stealing up to P95 million ($2.14 million) in public funds through the illegal diversion of his Priority Development Fund (PDAF) to fake non-governmental organizations run by alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
Valdez, referred to as “Kuryente” (Electricity) in the financial records of state witness Benhur Luy, also allegedly fabricated his liquidation documents to show that the ghost projects had been implemented. (READ: PDAF kickbacks: Napoles had favorites)
Valdez is among the second batch of lawmakers charged with varying degrees of graft and corruption under the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.
Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Napoles, lawyer Lucila Jessica “Gigi” Reyes – the former chief of staff of Senator Juan Ponce Enrile – and Masbate Governor Rizalina Seachon Lanete are also detained in Camp Bagong Diwa. – Rappler.com