Sandiganbayan orders Honasan arrested over ‘pork’ raps

Sandiganbayan orders Honasan arrested over �pork� raps

 The Sandiganbayan had issued warrant of arrest against Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II and nine others over graft raps in relation to the “pork barrel” scam in 2012. File photo

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 3:20 p.m.) – The Sandiganbayan has issued warrants of arrest against Sen. Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II and nine others over graft raps in relation to the “pork barrel” scam in 2012.

“After perusing the information and carefully evaluating the Joint Resolution dated Aug 9 2016 and Joint Order dated April 12, 2017 both of the Office of the Ombudsman, as well as the supporting evidence, conformably with Section 5(a), Rule 112 of the Rules of Court, the Court finds that there is sufficient probable cause to hold the accused in this case for trial and issue a warrant of arrest against them,” Sandiganbayan 2nd Division’s resolution read.

Honasan has denied the allegations.

"I am completely innocent of the charges against me. All my life I have fought everything I am accused of, and I will continue to do so," Honasan said in a statement.

The Sandiganbayan division also issued arrest warrants against the following:

  • Michael Benjamin – Political affairs and project coordinator of Honasan

  • Mehol Kiram Sadain – National Council on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) executive

  • Fedelina Dimalanta Aldenese – NCMF acting chief accountant

  • Galay Mokamad Makalinggan – NCMF Director

  • Aurora Ocular Aragon-Mabang – NCMF acting chief

  • Olga Sajise Galido – NCMF cashier

  • Giovanni Manuel Gaerlan – Focus officers 

  • Salvador Gaerlan – Focus officers 

The resolution of the anti-graft court was penned by Second Division Associate Justice Oscar Herrera Jr. 

On August 1, prosecutors of the Office of the Ombudsman indicted Honasan and his political affairs and project coordinator on two counts of graft for alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations in 2012.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales also found probable cause to file graft charges against the respondents as early as August last year.

Honasan was accused of giving P29.1 million to a questionable  non-government organization, NCMF, for the implementation of programs and projects that would benefit Muslim Filipinos in Metro Manila and Zambales.

The Ombudsman probe found that the Department of Budget and Management released P30 million as part of Honasan’s PDAF with the NCMF as the implementing agency in April 2012.

The graft cases filed are bailable at P30,000 per count. — Rosette Adel

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