Dangwa pleads not guilty to graft raps

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FORMER Rep. Samuel Dangwa of Benguet entered a plea of not guilty to the charges filed against him in connection with the pork barrel scam.

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Dangwa was arraigned on Wednesday afternoon on graft and malversation charges.

“Not guilty,” the former lawmaker replied to Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice and Third Division Chairperson Amparo Cabotaje-Tang each time she asked him how he pleas to each charge read to him and his co-accused.

His son Erwin Dangwa and businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles also entered pleas of not guilty to the graft and malversation charges.

Those who likewise pleaded not guilty to their respective charges are former Technology Resource Center Director General Dennis Cunanan, TRC Chief Accountant Marivic Jover, Belina Concepcion, Mylene Encarnacion, Ma. Rosalinda Lacsamana, Consuelo Lilian Espiritu, Maria Ninez Guañizo, Romulo Relevo, Eulogio Rodriguez, National Livelihood Development Corporation President Gondelina Amata, Gregoria Buenaventura, NLDC Director Chita Jalandoni, NLDC Project Development Officer Sofia Cruz, Filipina Rodriguez, Ofelia Ordoñez, Evelyn De Leon and Nitz Cabilao.

Dangwa was likewise arraigned on direct bribery charges and entered a plea of not guilty.

Meanwhile, the arraignment of Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and DBM employees Rosario Nunez, Marilou Bare and Lalaine Paule on graft and malverdation charges was reset to April 28 pending resolution of their motion for re-determination of probable cause.

Dangwa, who allegedly received P26.7 million in kickbacks out of P54 million Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel allocation, posted P530,000 in bail last February 11 for all cases.

The pre-trial in the cases is set on August 27.

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