Ex-congressman Valdez’s trial for PDAF scam set to proceed

Lian Buan

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Ex-congressman Valdez’s trial for PDAF scam set to proceed
The former Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives representative is accused of pocketing P57.78 million in pork barrel

MANILA, Philippines – Former Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) representative Edgar Valdez will be the 2nd lawmaker to be tried over plunder and graft charges in connection with the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

The Sandiganbayan 5th Division on Wednesday, March 8, decided to proceed with Valdez’s trial more than a year since the Ombudsman filed the charges against him.

Valdez, who is out on a P1.5-million bail, attended his court hearing on Wednesday with his co-accused, alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.

Napoles was also granted bail along with Valdez in April 2016, but she remains behind bars over her conviction for a separate serious illegal detention case.

TRIAL. Janet Lim Napoles attends her court hearing on March 8, 2017 for plunder and graft charges in connection with former APEC representative Edgar Valdez's pork barrel scam case. Photo by Rappler

The Sandiganbayan 5th Division set the graft trial for May 10, and the plunder trial for May 24.

Valdez is accused of pocketing P57.78 million out of the P95 million released from his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel from 2004 to 2010.

He appeared on the controversial ledger of whistle-blower Benhur Luy as “Kuryente” (electricity), an allusion to his party.

Like the other lawmakers, Valdez is accused of funneling his pork barrel through implementing agencies and into Napoles’ bogus non-governmental organizations (NGOs).

Former senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr’s plunder and graft charges were the first to be scheduled for trial, but the trial has been rescheduled thrice and is now set for March 30. – Rappler.com 

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Lian Buan

Lian Buan is a senior investigative reporter, and minder of Rappler's justice, human rights and crime cluster.