Sandigan probe set on alleged solicitation from Napoles’ lawyer
(Reposting this story to correct the earlier headline saying “Probe set for Sandigan guard, TV cameraman accused of asking money from Napoles lawyer.”)
MANILA, Philippines —The Sandiganbayan is set to conduct a fact-finding investigation on the alleged solicitation of money by a court guard from the lawyer of accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
The anti-graft court legal research and technical staff sent letters to Napoles’ counsel Atty. Stephen David, as well as to TV5 cameraman Dave Gonzales, inviting them to a hearing on January 8 so they can air their side on the alleged solicitation.
“Pursuant to the said fact-finding investigation, you are hereby invited to appear … to shed light on the alleged solicitation and to give your sworn statement thereon,” according to the letter penned by Legal Research and Technical Staff Director Atty. Mary Ruth Ferrer.
Sandiganbayan security guard Roland Allan Gole Cruz was accused of soliciting P20,000 from David supposedly for a bogus Christmas party. TV5 cameraman Gonzales allegedly served as the middleman between David and Gole Cruz.
In their complaint, security officials Darwin Trinidad and Rodelio Lalongisip said Cruz first asked Gonzales to deliver a solicitation letter to Atty. David in the men’s room.
David then allegedly gave Cruz the solicitation money on Dec. 2, 2014, after Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s bail hearing.
Cruz was placed under preventive suspension by the Supreme Court pending the investigation on the purported grave misconduct prejudicial to public interest charged against him.
Allegations of money deals abound as the anti-graft court is hearing the plunder and graft cases related to the alleged pork barrel scam, purportedly masterminded by Napoles.
Napoles is detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa female dormitory for allegedly masterminding the elaborate scheme of diverting lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks.
Also detained for plunder over the scam are Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.
Originally posted January 5, 2015 at 5:06 PM
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