Ex-lawmaker gets furlough for ma’s wake, burial

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The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division granted the plea of former Rep. Edgar Valdez of the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) to let him attend the wake and burial of his mother in Quezon City (Metro Manila).

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Valdez is detained at a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City over a P57-million plunder case in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.

His mother passed away on Wednesday, prompting the defense to file an Extremely Urgent Motion.

In the request, Valdez’ camp asked the court to grant him furlough in order to attend the wake in Arlington Funeral Homes in Quezon City and the interment.

The Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division granted his request in open court on Thursday over the objection of the prosecution and on humanitarian grounds.

Based on the court’s order, the burial will be at the Holy Cross Memorial Park also in Quezon City.

“As prayed for, accused Valdez is allowed to attend the wake of his mother on March 19 and 22, 2016 from 3:00 o’ clock in the afternoon to 9:00 o’ clock in the evening and to attend the burial on March 23, 2016 from 7:00 o’ clock in the morning to 1:00 o’ clock in the afternoon, subject to the following terms and conditions,” it said.

The court said the jail warden of the BJMP should provide adequate security in all of Valdez’ movements and dispositions.

The detailed BJMP security must control and supervise the use of any means of communications and electronics by the accused and those who will accompany him.

Valdez shall shoulder the expenses that will be incurred by the BJMP in connection with the security measures until he is returned to his place of detention, according to the court’s order.

News interviews are not allowed.

Last December, the court granted Valdez’ request to attend his son’s wedding.

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