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Biazon to serve suspension for graft raps, says Alvarez

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Biazon to serve suspension for graft raps, says Alvarez

/ 04:03 AM October 31, 2016

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has formally informed the Sandiganbayan that Muntinlupa City Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon would serve his 90-day suspension as he faced the pork barrel scam charges.

In a three-page compliance letter, Alvarez told the antigraft court’s Seventh Division that Biazon had manifested his “intention to serve out the preventive suspension once official communication is received by the House” and “without need or request for the Speaker’s further action.”

Alvarez said he transmitted Biazon’s letters to the committee on rules on Oct. 19, the day he received the Oct. 17 suspension order from the court.

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Two weeks before the court issued its order, Biazon wrote a letter saying he “will comply and abide by whatever order it will issue on the matter.”

On Oct. 19, Biazon wrote a second letter that said he had received the suspension order. He said he “will comply with the order… effective today without need or request for the Speaker’s further action aside from giving notice to the Court of the immediate implementation of the order.”

Aside from Biazon, the court also ordered the 90-day suspension of Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Mario Relampagos, and DBM staff Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule and Marilou Bare.

The case arose from Biazon’s endorsement of P3 million of his Priority Development Assistance Fund or pork barrel as Muntinlupa representative in 2007 to the Janet Lim-Napoles-controlled nongovernment organization Philippine Social Foundation Inc., with the now-defunct Technology Resource Center (TRC) as the implementing agency.

Besides graft, Biazon and the DBM officials also face a malversation charge for the alleged misuse of the funds.

Graft and malversation charges were also filed against the lawmaker’s alleged agent, former Energy Regulatory Commission chair and Pampanga Rep. Zenaida Cruz-Ducut, as well as Napoles and former TRC executives Arturo Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan and Francisco Figura.

Biazon was likewise charged with direct bribery for allegedly receiving P1.95 million in kickbacks from alleged ghost projects. On Sept. 6, he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

An ally of former President Benigno S. Aquino III in the Liberal Party, Biazon resigned from his post as customs commissioner when the controversy erupted in 2013.

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Aside from Biazon, other lawmakers embroiled in the P10-billion pork barrel scandal were former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and former senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla Jr.

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TAGS: Biazon, graft raps, Liberal Party, Muntinlupa City Rep. Rozzano Rufino Biazon, pork barrel scam, suspension
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