42 graft raps filed vs Estrada, Enrile, Revilla, Napoles
MANILA, Philippines–A total of 42 counts of graft were slapped Monday on Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, and Janet Lim-Napoles and other officials of public and private companies for their role in the alleged irregular disbursements of some P1.14 billion in pork barrel allotments from 2004 to 2010.
It was the second batch of criminal information filed by the Office of the Ombudsman in the Sandiganbayan against the senators and their chiefs of staff who were charged with plunder on Friday.
The graft charges are bailable offenses, but the plunder charges are nonbailable.
For allegedly mishandling their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), Revilla is facing 16 counts of graft; Enrile, 15 counts; and Estrada, 11 counts.
Enrile and his former chief of staff, Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, are facing 15 counts of graft for allegedly mishandling pork barrel funds totaling P345 million released by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).
Revilla and his chief of staff Richard Cambe were named in 16 charge sheets in connection with the lawmaker’s P517-million PDAF allocation.
Estrada and his chief of staff Pauline Therese Mary Labayen were indicted in 11 graft charges for questioned transactions amounting to P278 million.
Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos was also charged with facilitating the release of the funds.
Napoles was included in all 42 charges, with a recommended bail of P30,000 for each count, for a total of P1.26 million. Accused with Napoles were her daughter Jo Christine and son James Christopher.
Also named in the multiple graft charges were National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor) former president Alan Javellana and Technology Resource Center former Director Generals Dennis Cunanan and Antonio Ortiz.
The graft and plunder charges are expected to be raffled off to different Sandiganbayan divisions this Friday.
The antigraft court raffles off the cases to its five divisions every Friday. It may also create a special division to handle all the cases, or approve their consolidation upon the motion of the prosecutors.
Once a particular division takes cognizance of the case, it will issue warrants of arrests to all the accused.
The accused can avoid being arrested if they voluntarily surrender to the court before it issues warrants prior to arraignment.
The accused may also seek a judicial determination of probable cause from the court if they believe there is a grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Office of the Ombudsman.
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