Singson posts bail in P24-M graft charges


Former Gov. Luis “Chavit” Singson of Ilocos Sur province has posted bail at the Sandiganbayan for his three-count criminal suit over the alleged release of P24.18 million of financial assistance to an alleged private company.

Singson posted his P90,000 bail at the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division on Wednesday without any media frenzy to gain his temporary liberty in his three-count graft charge.

Details from his bail undertaking showed that he posted P90,000 without the assistance of any lawyer yet, which is allowed as long as before his arraignment, he already has a counsel.

According to division staff, Singson did not take too long in posting his bail. He simply had his fingerprints taken and details filled out before he scooted off to the parking lot of the court.

A court staff said that he stayed in his vehicle parked at the open area of the courthouse and was just called to go up and present himself during the fingerprint-taking.

Singson was already in Sandiganbayan at around 9 a.m. without any media tracking down his intention to post bail.

Singson is facing charges for allegedly releasing P24.18 million of cash to Multi-Line Food Processing International, Inc. when he was still the governor of Ilocos Sur.

According to the Office of the Ombudsman, Singson entered into four memoranda of agreement with Multi-Line between February and June 2001 for the release of financial assistance amounting to P9.18 million, P4 million, P3 million, and P8 million.

Four checks were issued between April and July 2001—three
were allegedly released on Singson’s order.

In his defense, the governor said that he had no personal interest in the disbursement of cash and only signed the vouchers with full trust in his underlings who evaluated the documents.

“The COA [Commission on Audit] did not declare the act of giving financial assistance as unlawful,” Singson added.

But the Ombudsman resolved that he and his successor, former Gov. Deogracias Savellano, “repeatedly entered” with a memorandum with Multi-Line and approved the “successive release of public funds” that favored the alleged bogus NGO, elements of graft have been present.

The Ombudsman said that Multi-Line was not qualified to receive financial aid from government because its Articles of
Incorporation showed that it is a for-profit private company.
His arraignment was set on October 30.

The case of Savellano, although related to Singson’s case, was raffled separately and landed at the First Division of the anti-graft court.


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