• Ex-governor posts bond, halts arrest

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    Former Gov. Luis Raymund “L-Ray” Villafuerte posted bond at the Sandiganbayan to stave off arrest over his P20-million cases, it was learned on Thursday.

    The former provincial chief of Camarines Sur province has availed of temporary liberty after he posted a P90,000 bail in his three-count graft charges lodged at the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division on Friday last week.

    His posting of bail followed an issuance of a warrant of arrest, which was issued also on the same date following the anti-graft court’s resolution to junk his motion for judicial determination of probable cause.

    By normal court procedure, arraignment will follow suit but in a clarification from clerk of court lawyer Teresa Pabuluyan, Villafuerte’s previous conditional arraignment, which was conducted before he left for a travel abroad, was automatically entered as regular arraignment.

    “Since there are no changes in the information, the previous plea of the governor remains as it is,” Pabulayan said. In the ruling to Villafuerte’s motion for judicial determination of probable cause, the court found that there is probable cause to sustain the charges and to proceed to trial.

    Villafuerte is facing charges for the purchase of products in three tranches in 2010: a release of P5 million on January 22; another P5 million between January 7 and 23; and another P10 million on April 7.

    According to complainant Carlo Batalla, former provincial board member, Villafuerte purchased petroleum products from Lo between January and April 2010. Batalla added that the provincial hall had not yet consumed the fuel but Villafuerte still purchased all the more.

    Villafuerte said that they did not conduct a public bidding for the P20-million gasoline because “economy, efficiency, and the price that is the most advantageous to the government were obtained” since Petron Naga had been the consistent supplier of gasoline since 2006.

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