Ex-Ilocos Sur lawmaker posts bail

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Former Ilocos Sur first district Rep. Salacnib Baterina, who is facing criminal charges in connection with the alleged anomalous use of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel allocation totaling P33.9 million in 2007, on Thursday posted bail for his provisional liberty.

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The Office of the Ombudsman recommended a P240,000 bail but the Sandiganbayan’s Second Division allowed Baterina to post a reduced bail of P120,000.

Charged along with Baterina were former Technology and Livelihood Resource Center Director General Antonio Ortiz, former Deputy Director General Dennis Cunanan, former Corporate Service Group Manager Francisco Figura, former Chief Accountant Marivic Jover, former Internal Auditor V Maurine Dimaranan Janet Lim-Napoles and Godofredo Roque.

Former Energy Regulatory Commission Chairperson Zenaida Cruz-Ducut, Evelyn De Leon, former TLRC Sales and Promotion Supervisor IV Belina Concepcion as well as former Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos face one count of graft and one count of malversation.

The Ombudsman accused Baterina of endorsing the supposedly “unaccredited and unqualified” non-government organizations Kaagapay Magpakailanman Foundation, Inc. (KMFI) and Philippine Social Development Foundation, Inc. (PSDFI) as project partners in providing PDAF-funded livelihood projects in Ilocos Sur’s first district.

The projects allegedly “turned out to be non-existent.” REINA TOLENTINO

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