Court grants bail to Napoles, 2 others
Former Apec Representative Edgar Valdez was granted bail from plunder by the Sandiganbayan as he faces trial over the pork barrel scam.
The anti-graft court Fifth Division granted the bail petition of Valdez and allowed him to post P1.5 million bail from plunder and P210,000 from seven counts of graft.
The division granted Valdez’s petition not long after the Fourth Division also granted the bail of dismissed Masbate governor Rizalina Seachon-Lanete from plunder over the scam.
The court also granted the bail petition of accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles in both Valdez and Lanete’s case.
However, Napoles cannot be released yet because her bail had been denied in the cases of Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.
She is also serving life sentence for the serious illegal detention of whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Both Valdez and Lanete can now walk free after being detained for plunder at Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig.
In the court resolution promulgated yesterday, the court said the prosecution only proved that Valdez received P2.6 million kickbacks from the Napoles’ foundation Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation (SDPFFI).
The court said the prosecution failed to prove that the rest of Valdez’s alleged P57 million kickbacks could be traced to the other foundations of Napoles.
“For purposes of bail, to find that the evidence of guilt is strong against the accused Valdez that he amassed, accumulated and acquired by himself the total amount of P57,787,500 representing commissions and kickbacks from foundations and NGOs controlled by Napoles . . . when the evidence produced by the prosecution showed that the amount received by Cong. Valdez from SDPFFI was P2,627,500 and no other evidence was adduced to prove that part of P57,787,500 came from MAMFI and PSDFI, would violate his right to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him,” the court said.
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