Another pork barrel scam suspect surrenders
MANILA, Philippines—Another suspect in the P10-billion pork barrel scam surrendered to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) on Wednesday.
Former Association of Philippine Electric Cooperatives partylist Rep. Edgar Valdez surrendered to detectives of the CIDG National Capital Region unit earlier in the day, the CIDG said in a statement.
Associate Justice Roland Jurado of the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division had issued a warrant for Valdez’ arrest over plunder charges in connection with the pork barrel scam. Valdez is also facing seven counts of graft for violations of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act.
CIDG chief Police Director Benjamin B. Magalong said that Valdez was accused of pocketing at least P57.7 million in kickbacks from alleged ghost projects funded through his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from 2004 to 2010.
Valdez was accused of endorsing his PDAF funds to bogus foundations controlled by alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, which posed as project implementors for livelihood programs, and the distribution of farm inputs and farm implements.
Magalong said as of 4 p.m., Valdez has had his mugshot taken and had undergone fingerprinting and medical/physical examinations.
Valdez was the second former congressman indicted for graft and plunder for their alleged complicity in the intricate multibillion-peso Napoles scam.
Last week, Masbate Gov. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete also surrendered to the CIDG after a warrant was issued for her arrest by the Sandiganbayan, who was charged for allegedly receiving P108.4 million in payoffs from Napoles when she was still the representative of the lone district of her province.
Also facing graft and malversation cases in the Sandiganbayan are former Benguet Rep. Samuel Dangwa, former Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza, and former Cagayan de Oro Rep. Constantino Jaraula.
Napoles, who is already locked up for four separate cases of plunder and several counts of graft, was also included in the arrest warrant issued by the antigraft court’s Fifth Division for Valdez.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.