The anti-graft court Sandiganbayan’s Seventh Division has issued a hold departure order (HDO) against former Rep. Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon of Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila) and several others over graft and malversation charges filed against them in connection with the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.
An HDO means that they have to seek the court’s permission first whenever they will go on a trip abroad.
“[T]his court, in the exercise of its inherent power to use all means necessary to carry its orders into effect, more specifically, to preserve and maintain the effectiveness of its jurisdiction over the cases and the persons of the accused so as to render accused at all times amenable to its writs or processes.. .hereby orders the Commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration to hold the departure from the Philippines of the above-named accused and to include their names in the Hold Departure List of said bureau,” the court said in the HDO dated May 3.
Also listed on the HDO were private individuals Janet Lim-Napoles and Evelyn de Leon; former Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Chairman Zenaida Ducut; and Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Mario Relampagos as well as then-DBM employees Rosario Nuñez, Marilou Bare and Lalaine Paule.
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, Marivic Jover and Maurine Dimaranan were also included.
The HDO was signed by Associate Justice Alexander Gesmundo, who leads the court’s Seventh Division, and Associate Justices Ma. Theresa Dolores Gomez-Estoesta and Zaldy Trespeses.
Earlier, the Office of the Ombudsman filed the charges alleging that Biazon endorsed the Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc., a non-government organization allegedly run by Napoles, as project partner in implementing a livelihood project for barangay (villages) in Muntinlupa funded by his PDAF worth P3 million in 2007, which project allegedly turned out to be non-existent.