Former Energy commission chief posts bail

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FORMER Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairman Zenaida Ducut posted bail for her provisional liberty over graft and malversation charges filed against her in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.

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Based on verification made with the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s Third Division, she posted a total of P140,000 bail on Tuesday morning for two counts of graft (P30,000 each) and two counts of malversation (P40,000 each).

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

Ducut was earlier charged along with former Rep. Marc Douglas Cagas 4th of Davao del Sur’s First District and several others.

The Office of the Ombudsman alleged that Cagas received kickbacks from his PDAF-funded projects with payments made at the JLN office in Ortigas supposedly through Ducut who, it said, was Cagas’ representative.

Cagas allegedly allocated P7.55 million in 2008 to non-government organizations (NGOs) People Organization for Progress and Development Foundation Inc. (POPDFI) and Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation Inc. (SDPFFI) for the distribution of agricultural production and livelihood packages in the form of fertilizers, seeds and sprayers.

But the two NGOs, according to the Ombudsman, were allegedly not qualified and the projects allegedly turned out to be non-existent.

Aside from Cagas and Ducut, named respondents were businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles and her employee John Raymond de Asis as well as Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and then-DBM employees Rosario Nuñez, Marilou Bare and Lalaine Paule.

Also charged were former Technology Resource Center Director General Antonio Ortiz, former TRC Deputy Director General Dennis Cunanan as well as then-TRC employees Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana, Consuelo Lilian Espiritu, Francisco Figura and Marivic Jover.

Also charged were then-Nabcor President Allan Javellana and then-Nabcor employees Victor Cacal, Maria Ninez Guañizo, Ma. Julie Villaralvo Johnson and Rhodora Mendoza.

Private individuals Jesus Castillo, Margarita Guadinez, Ireneo Pirater and Jocelyn Deiparine face graft charges while Noel Macha faces one count of malversation.

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