Ex-congressman posts bail
Former Ilocos Sur 1st District Rep. Salacnib Baterina on Thursday posted a P120,000 bail at the Sandiganbayan as he faces seven criminal charges for the alleged misuse of his pork barrel funds.
This was half of the original P240,000 bond set by the Sandiganbayan Second Division, as the court granted Baterina’s bid for the reduction of the bail he found excessive.
“The total amount of the bail bond … is certainly far beyond the reach of the accused [Baterina] taking into account that he is now unemployed and [has] no other source of income,” read his motion on March 31.
Baterina declined reporters’ request for an interview, saying he could not comment on the merits of the case.
He is facing three counts each of malversation and violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act, as well as one count of direct bribery.
The charges arose from the alleged diversion of his P9.6-million Priority Development Assistance Fund allocation to ghost projects by Philippine Social Development Foundation Inc., which is linked to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Prosecutors claimed Baterina and former Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Zenaida Cruz-Ducut, allegedly acting as Napoles’ “agent,” received P3 million in kickbacks.
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