Sandigan bars Dangwas from leaving PH
MANILA, Philippines—The Sandiganbayan on Friday barred former Benguet Rep. Samuel Dangwa, his son and former chief of staff, Erwin, and several others from leaving the country pending the trial of the criminal charges filed against them in connection with the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
The antigraft court’s Third Division issued the hold-departure order just as the Dangwas posted bail in the amount of nearly P1 million a week after the Office of the Ombudsman approved their indictment for several counts of graft and malversation.
Dennis Pulma, the division clerk of court, said the father and son opted to settle the bail for their temporary freedom even before the court ordered their arrest and determined probable cause in the cases brought against them.
“It’s their judgment. Under the Rules of Court, an accused may post bail even if there’s yet to be a determination of probable cause or before the issuance of an arrest warrant,” Pulma told reporters.
He said the court had recommended a bail of P30,000 for each count of graft, P40,000 for malversation and P20,000 for every case of bribery.
According to Pulma, Dangwa paid a total of P520,000 while his son posted a bail of P420,000.
“This court, in the exercise of its inherent power to use all means necessary to carry its orders into effect… hereby orders the commissioner of the Bureau of Immigration to hold the departure from the Philippines of the… accused and to include [them] in the Hold Departure list of said bureau,” it added.
Dangwa, who was indicted for 17 counts of graft, bribery and malversation, is accused of funneling P54 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allotments to bogus foundations set up by alleged fund scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles from 2001 to 2010.
Citing the testimonies of whistle-blowers, the Ombudsman said the former lawmaker earned some P26.7 million in kickbacks from the alleged misuse of his PDAF.
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