BINAN, Laguna: Sen. Gregorio Honasan 2nd, who dropped off the radar on Thursday after the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court ordered his arrest, turned up in Biñan, Laguna on Friday and posted bail of P60,000.
Honasan, a former coup leader used to hiding from authorities, avoided arrest over corruption charges involving his alleged misuse of P29.1 million in pork barrel or priority development assistance funds (PDAF).
Honasan maintained his innocence, telling reporters: “All my life I have fought everything I am accused of, and I will continue to do so.”
The lawmaker showed up at the Biñan police headquarters at 7 a.m. with his lawyer Dennis Manalo.
He was met by Chief Supt. Mao Aplasca, Calabarzon regional police director; Sr. Supt Cecilio Ison, Laguna provincial police director; and Supt. Elpidio Ramirez, Biñan chief of police.
Crime laboratory personnel took the senator’s blood pressure, mug shots, fingerprints and buccal swabs.
Afterwards, Honasan’s group went to Judge Teodoro Solis of Biñan Regional Trial Court Branch 25, where the senator posted P60,000 bail, or P30,000 each for two counts of graft.
Citing documents from June 2012, the Office of the Ombudsman had said Honasan endorsed the release of funds to nongovernment organization Focus Development Goals Foundation Inc. without complying with bidding requirements.
The Budget department released Honasan’s PDAF, with the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) as the implementing agency, for disbursement to the group supposedly for livelihood projects for Muslim communities in Metro Manila and Zambales.
Aside from Honasan, the Sandiganbayan also ordered the arrest of his political affairs chief Michael Benjamin; NCMF Secretary Mehol Sadain; NCMF officials Fedelina Aldanese, Galay Makalinggan, Aurora Aragon-Mabang, and Olga Galido; and Focus Development Goals Foundation officers Giovannie Manuel Gaerlan and Salvador Gaerlan.
Benjamin, Sadain, Aldanese, Mabang, Galido, and Giovanni Manuel Gaerlan have also posted bail.
with JEFFERSON ANTIPORDA AND REINA C. TOLENTINO