Pork scam-tagged Masbate gov surrenders

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Saturday, 21 February 2015 - Last Updated on January 13, 2017

The governor of Masbate implicated in the P108.4 million-pork barrel scam has surrendered to authorities following the issuance of an arrest warrant for plunder against her.

Masbate Gov. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete allegedly received kickbacks from the allocation of her Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus nongovernment organizations linked to Janet Lim-Napoles, according to a report.

Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) head director Benjamin Magalong said Lanete “was visibly sad and crying” when she turned herself in to CIDG.

Lanete was Masbate’s representative at the time when the misuse of pork barrel funds was allegedly committed.

Immediately after her surrender, the CIDG presented Lanete to the Sandiganbayan to let the court decide on where she will be detained.

On Friday Lanete asked the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division to choose the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame for her detention.

“Accused Lanete respectfully submits that, under the circumstances, her life can best be secured at the PNP Custodial Center, which is a well-guarded compound located within the safe walls of Camp Crame,” the Masbate governor said in her motion.

Other politicians who are detained at the PNP facility for pork barrel cases include Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division issued the arrest warrant on Wednesday based on probable cause to try her for plunder and graft over the misuse of pork barrel funds.

Her coaccused on 11 counts of graft were Undersecretary Mario Relampago and officials Rosario Nuñez, Lalaine Paule and Marilou Bare of the Department of Budget and Management; former Technology Resource Center director Dennis Cunanan; and National Agribusiness Corp. officials Allan Javellana, Rhodora Mendoza and Victor Roman Cacal.

CIDG Magalong said one of the governor’s children contacted them and told them that she will surrender. “Upon issuance of the arrest warrant, she immediately come here and we took custody of her,” he said.

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