Arrest of Plaza, 4 sought over pork barrel scam
MANILA, Philippines — Government prosecutors have asked the Sandiganbayan to order the arrest and set the arraignment of former Agusan del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza and his co-accused in the criminal charges brought against them in relation to the P10-billion pork barrel racket.
“This court already resolved to affirm the finding of probable (cause) to the motions for judicial determination of accused Plaza (and his fellow respondents),” prosecutors from the Office of the Ombudsman said in their July 3 motion.
In its seven-page pleading, the prosecution also urged the anti-graft court’s Second Division to bar Plaza et al. from leaving the country and resolve all pending motions pertaining to the cases.
“With the determination of probable cause, the honorable court may already issue the warrants of arrest as well as hold departure orders such that it may obtain jurisdiction over the accused,” the prosecution argued.
It said Plaza’s co-accused, Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and his subordinates Marilou Bare, Rosario Nunez and Lalaine Paule, did not present “any novel argument in their motions for reconsideration that would warrant an overturn from the affirmation of probable cause.”
Plaza and his fellow accused are facing graft and malversation charges for allegedly funnelling P54 million of his pork barrel to fake foundations of suspected scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
The former Agusan del Sur congressman allegedly pocketed half of the amount.
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