Ex-lawmaker, 5 others post bail

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Former lawmaker Arthur Pingoy Jr. of South Cotabato posted bail for his provisional liberty over graft, malversation and direct bribery charges filed against him in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.

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Pingoy posted bail totaling P340,000 on Wednesday for four counts of graft, four counts of malversation and two counts of direct bribery, based on a check with the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s Second Division.

The court is yet to determine whether there is probable cause for the cases to proceed to trial and to issue arrest warrants.

Pingoy’s co-accused, former Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Zenaida Ducut, also posted a P340,000 bail on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Mario Relampagos as well as then-DBM employees Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule and Marilou Bare posted bail also on Wednesday totaling P280,000 for graft and malversation cases filed against them.

The Ombudsman filed the cases earlier this month, alleging that the respondents caused undue injury to the government in the total amount of P20.9 million from 2007 to 2009.

Also named respondents were former Technology Resource Center Director General Antonio Ortiz, former TRC Deputy Director General Dennis Cunanan and then-TRC employees Francisco Figura and Marivic Jover.

Former National Agribusiness Corporation president Alan Javellana, former Nabcor Administrative and Finance Department vice president Rhodora Mendoza as well as former Nabcor employees Maria Ninez Guanizo and Victor Cacal were also included.

Also charged was Evelyn de Leon, who was then-president of the Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc. (PSDFI) and other private individuals, namely, Noel Macha, John Raymund de Asis and John Bernardo.

Based on the charge sheets, Pingoy allegedly indorsed PSDFI and the Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation Inc. (SDPFFI) to implementing agencies TRC and Nabcor, respectively, as “project-partner” in providing livelihood projects in South Cotabato’s Second District funded by his PDAF which projects allegedly turned out to be non-existent.

Ducut, the Ombudsman said, received alleged kickbacks or share from PDAF proceeds for and in behalf of Pingoy.

The Ombudsman’s office recommended P30,000 bail each for the respondents’ provisional liberty in the graft cases, and P40,000 bail each in the malversation cases.

It also recommended P30,000 bail for the direct bribery charges wherein Pingoy and Ducut were named respondents.

Based on the direct bribery charges, Pingoy, “by himself and/or through his co-conspirator Ducut,” allegedly received P6.755 million and P300,000 from businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles in 2007 and 2008, respectively.

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