Masbate gov brought to court after surrender


FORMER Masbate Representative and now Gov. Rizalina Seachon-Lañete will be presented to the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division today, after surrendering to the police on Wednesday evening, officials said on Thursday.

Lañete is accused of pocketing P112.29 million in kickbacks from her Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from 2007 to 2009 and is facing 11 counts of graft for her alleged involvement in the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

State witness Benhur Luy, who linked Lañete to bogus non-government organizations of businesswoman and alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged that the governor received P108.405 million in kickbacks, of which P73.065 million was siphoned off from Lanete’s PDAF from 2007 to 2009.

Lañete surrendered herself to Director Benjamin Magalong, chief of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame in Quezon City.

The governor went through the normal booking process, which includde fingerprinting and mug-shot taking, inside the police camp around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

The Sandiganbayan has ordered the arrest of 30 other individuals, including Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Mario Relampagos; DBM officials Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule and Marilou Bare; former Technology Resource Center Director Dennis Cunanan; and National Agri-Business Corp. officials Allan Javellana, Rhodora Mendoza and Victor Roman Cacal.

The Sandiganbayan deferred issuance of an arrest warrant against Lañete’s chief of staff, Jose Sumalpong, who earlier filed an urgent motion to defer the issuance of the warrant.


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