Former PCSO exec in P366M plunder case fails to yield despite arrest warrantBy Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
ILOILO CITY, Philippines—A co-accused of former President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in the plunder case stemming from the alleged misuse of P366 million in intelligence and confidential funds of the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office, has failed to surface despite the arrest warrant against him.
Former PCSO director Raymundo Roquero has filed a separate petition before the Supreme Court seeking to stop the implementation of the Sandiganbayan’s First Division order for his arrest.
Roquero’s lawyer Victoriano Orocio said he filed a petition for certiorari and for a temporary restraining order against the October 3 resolution of the Sandiganbayan, which found probable cause against Arroyo and nine other former government officials accused of misusing over P366 million in PCSO intelligence funds from 2008 to 2010.
Orocio said they filed the petition because his client was “denied of due process.” He has denied the involvement of his client in the alleged irregularities in the PCSO.
He declined to comment when asked if Roquero would surrender while their petition was pending before the Supreme Court.
“I’m not at liberty and I do not have authority to answer that. It will be up to him,” Orocio told the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Monday.
Two of Roquero’s co-accused, former PCSO chairman Sergio Valencia and assistant manager for finance Benigno Aguas, earlier surrendered after the arrest warrants were issued.
Orocio said the last time he talked to Roquero over the phone was just before he filed the petition before the Supreme Court on October 11.
Roquero, former mayor of Valderrama town in Antique and a member of a prominent political clan in the province, is a candidate for representative of the lone congressional district of Antique against reelectionist Rep. Paolo Everardo Javier of the ruling Liberal Party.
He is running under the “Bag-ong Antiqueño” coalition, an alliance of groups affiliated with the United Nationalist Alliance of Vice President Jejomar Binay.
Senior Superintendent Ruperto Floro Jr., Antique police director, said Roquero would be arrested if he would be seen in the province. “We are monitoring his whereabouts and we will implement the arrest order if he is here,” Floro said.