Former CoA chairman arraigned for plunder

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Former Commission on Audit (CoA) chief Reynaldo Villar is set to answer criminal charges filed against him before the anti-graft court today.

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Villar is a co-accused in the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) plunder case against former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

He is alleged to have let Arroyo’s supposed anomalous release of the P366-million PCSO confidential funds.

The Sandiganbayan’s First Division ordered last Friday the Philippine National Police’s Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) to bring Villar before the court for his arraignment this morning.

At-large since 2012, Villar was arrested on Thursday by the (PNP-CIDG) at his home in Parañaque City and is detained at Camp Crame.

He went to the Sandiganbayan the next day, asking the court to grant him bail.

Villar, who in 2010 ordered the CoA to make a special audit on lawmakers’ pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), that he hoped he will be given temporary freedom.

Plunder is a non-bailable offense, with a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.

Still at-large are former PCSO general manager Rosario Uriarte, former director Ma. Fatima Valdes and Nilda Plaras who is the CoA’s former intelligence/confidential audit unit (ICAU) head.

Other co-accused have been allowed bail, such as former PCSO chairpersons Manuel Morato and Sergio Valencia and former board member Raymund Roquero. Arroyo is under hospital arrest, her request for bail denied.-

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