Sandigan grants Valdez, Napoles bail pleas

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THE anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s Fifth Division granted the bail petitions of former Rep. Edgar Valdez of the Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives (APEC) and businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles in a plunder case filed against them in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel fund, scam.

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Defense lawyer Joel Ferrer confirmed to The Manila Times on Wednesday afternoon that Valdez has already posted bail for his provisional liberty.

Valdez posted a total of P1.7 million bail in the plunder and graft charges filed against him.

“And, taking all the evidence and the pertinent law and doctrinal rules together, it would appear that for purposes of bail, there appears to be doubt as to the total amount of alleged ill-gotten wealth amassed, accumulated, and/or acquired by accused Valdez, directly or indirectly, with Napoles and [John Raymund] De Asis, covered by the instant Information,” the court said in part in its Resolution.

The court set a P1.5 million bail each in the plunder case.

Associate Justice Roland Jurado, who leads the court’s Fifth Division, penned the ruling, which was concurred in by Associate Justices Rafael Lagos and Maria Theresa Mendoza-Arcega.

Valdez had been detained at a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility at Camp Bagong Diwa, in Metro Manila’s Taguig City.

Meanwhile, Napoles is serving a life sentence at the Correctional Institute for Women in Mandaluyong after a Makati court found her guilty in the serious illegal detention case filed by her relative and former employee Benhur Luy.

In a separate plunder case, the court’s Fourth Division also granted the bail petitions of former Masbate Rep. and dismissed Gov. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete and Napoles.

Lanete’s camp posted a total of P830,000 bail for her temporary liberty in the plunder and graft charges field against her.

The recommended bail in the graft cases was P30,000 each. REINA TOLENTINO

RT/BF

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