Nereus Acosta, mom ordered arrested

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Nereus Acosta. Photo from comelec.gov.ph

MANILA, Philippines—The Sandiganbayan on Wednesday ordered the arrest of Laguna Lake Development Authority general manager Nereus Acosta and his mother, Soccoro, in connection with the perjury charge filed against them by the Office of the Ombudsman.

The warrants of arrest, issued by the antigraft court’s Fifth Division, were addressed to law enforcers, including the chief of police of Manolo Fortich town in Bukidnon. Bail was set at P6,000.

The case stemmed from the alleged irregular transfer of some P5.5 million from Acosta’s pork barrel allocation to the Bukidnon Vegetable Producers Cooperative, a private company owned by the Acosta family, six years ago when he was a member of the House of Representatives. At that time, his mother was mayor of Manolo Fortich town.

The Ombudsman approved the indictment on perjury after its probers failed to find any record of any Sangguniang Bayan resolution approving the fund transfer. The Acostas said in their defense they never made such a claim about a resolution.

The court earlier issued warrants of arrest against the Acostas but their implementation was stopped when they filed a motion for a judicial determination of probable cause.

Acosta described the perjury case as being part of “relentless and systematic acts of demolition against my person and my family.”

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