Lawmaker told anew to return P35-M fund | Inquirer News

Lawmaker told anew to return P35-M fund

/ 05:15 AM January 10, 2024

Lawmaker told anew to return P35-M fund

The Sandiganbayan Centennial Building in Quezon City. ( file photo)

MANILA, Philippines — The Sandiganbayan has denied a former lawmaker’s plea to remove the civil liability imposed against him over the alleged wrongful disbursement of P35 million in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to nongovernmental organizations.

Former Ilocos Sur Rep. Salacnib Baterina was acquitted by the anti-graft court’s Special Second Division in October last year on graft, malversation, and direct bribery charges although he and his co-accused were ordered to return the amount to the government.


The court, on the other hand, convicted his co-accused, businesswoman and alleged “pork barrel queen” Janet Lim-Napoles.


Baterina told the court in his motion for partial reconsideration filed on Nov. 13, 2023, that the civil liability imposition was “not supported by evidence.”

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He said the prosecution “failed to show” that he was informed of a PDAF allocation for his congressional district in the 2007 annual budget.

But the Sandiganbayan noted that Baterina was aware of his PDAF allocations and that he “knowingly caused the same funds to be released and even identified the project and implementing agency.”

It added that Baterina could not deny negligence just because he was an outgoing congressman at the time of the transactions, noting that they covered the period of his incumbency.

The resolution was penned by Associate Justice Edgardo Caldona, with the concurrence of Associate Justices Arthur Malabaguio and Oscar Herrera Jr., the division chair.

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TAGS: Janet Lim Napoles, pork barrel scam, Priority Development Assistance Fund, Salacnib Baterina, Sandiganbayan

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