SC junks Relampagos TRO plea in pork case
MANILA, Philippines–The Supreme Court has dismissed the petition of Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos that sought to stop the Sandiganbayan from proceeding with the graft cases filed against him in connection with the pork barrel scam.
“The court denied the application of petitioner for a temporary restraining order and or writ of preliminary injunction,” the high court’s Information Chief Theodore Te said.
Te said the Supreme Court also directed the respondents—the Sandiganbayan and the Office of the Ombudsman—to comment on the petition within 10 days from receipt of notice.
Relampagos went to the Supreme Court after the antigraft court’s Third Division denied his petition challenging the Ombudsman’s finding of probable cause against him in connection with the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund, or pork barrel, scam.
The Ombudsman has indicted Relampagos and his staff, Lalaine Paule, Marilou Bare and Rosario Nuñez for allegedly acting as Janet Lim-Napoles’ contact in the Department of Budget Management in facilitating the release of Special Allotment Release Orders and Notice of Cash Allocations for the lawmaker’s pork barrel allocation.
They were among the 25 government employees who allegedly helped funnel the pork barrel allocation of lawmakers to bogus nongovernment organizations established by Napoles.
Relampagos is yet the highest official of a government agency charged in the scam.
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