Lanete wants to be detained with Bong, Jinggoy due to death threats
MANILA, Philippines — Pork barrel scam suspect Masbate governor Rizalina Seachon-Lanete has asked the Sandiganbayan for her detention at the Philippine National Police (PNP), Custodial Center, citing threats to her life supposedly due to political rivalry.
If her wish is granted, she would be detained with senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada who are also detained in the custodial center for plunder over their alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.
In an urgent motion, the former Masbate representative facing plunder told the court of various instances she survived assassination attempts against her and her family.
In her motion, Lanete recounted the various assassination attempts against her and her family.
In 2004, Lanete, then running for Congress, survived an ambush in Matugnao, Palanas town, Masbate, but three of her companions were killed.
In the same year, Lanete’s brother, former Masbate solon Fausto Seachon Jr., also survived an ambush from unknown armed men, but one of his companions was killed.
The following year, Seachon Jr. was eventually assassinated outside his house in Caloocan City.
In 2007, Lanete’s son Mayor Joshur Judd Lanete II survived an attack when they were fired at by political enemies as they were going around Masbate.
In 2011, Lanete said she was attacked by unknown gunmen who fired shots at her convoy in Pio Corpus town.
Lanete said her latest threat was this year when a police Special Weapons and Tactics Unit (SWAT) pointed a rifle at her and her son Mayor Lanete in Cebu during the Sinulog festival.
“To this day, Lanete and her family continue to receive death threats… Lanete respectfully submits that, under the circumstances, her life can best be secured at the PNP Custodial Center, which is a well-guarded compound located within the safe walls of Camp Crame,” Lanete’s motion further said.
Also attached to her motion is a confidential threat assessment report by the Masbate Police Provincial Office, which said that Lanete as a political figure in the province has been under threat since she won against a political bigwig, former congressman Antonio Kho.
“Being the chief executive of the Masbate province and (given) the long time dispute between Seachon Lanete and the Kho’s has not been settled, there is a strong possibility that political vendetta might crop up which possessed threat to her life, and the same cannot be discounted,” according to the report dated Feb. 19 and signed by officer in charge Police Superintendent Carl Michael Reyes.
Accused of conniving with alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, Lanete arrived at the Sandiganbayan Friday for her booking process for her plunder case.
Smiling to reporters upon arrival, Lanete, wearing civilian clothes, was brought to the antigraft court by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) which will return the warrant of arrest against the governor.
But when she was brought to the Clerk of Court of the Fourth Division which will hear her case, Lanete turned somber as she tried to shield herself from the cameras.
She surrendered to the PNP CIDG Wednesday night hours after an arrest warrant was issued against her for plunder over the pork barrel scam.
Lanete refused to answer questions from reporters.
Lanete is accused of pocketing P108.405 million allegedly siphoned from her Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) from 2004 to 2010.
In its complaint, The Ombudsman said Lanete misused P112.29 million of PDAF from 2007 to 2009. Principal whistleblower Benhur Luy in his ledger said Lanete from 2004 to 2010 received P108.405 million in kickbacks, of which P73.065 million were siphoned from Lanete’s PDAF from 2007 to 2009.
In its indictment, the Ombudsman said “Lanete continuously endorsed the implementation of her PDAF-funded livelihood and agricultural projects to questionable NGOs associated with or controlled by Napoles.”
“(Lanete’s) P112.29 million PDAF was anomalously used for livelihood projects, financial assistance to farmers, farm inputs and farm implements, skills training and distribution of livelihood kits in nail care, wellness, massage and candle- making. Several Memoranda of Agreement (MOA) were entered into between Lanete, (Technology Resource Center), (National Agribusiness Corp) and the NGO-partners,” the Ombudsman said.
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