MANILA — The Sandiganbayan Fourth Division on Wednesday allowed Masbate Gov. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete and the alleged pork barrel scam “mastermind” Janet Lim Napoles to post bail for plunder and graft charges filed against them by the Office of the Ombudsman (Ombudsman).
Lanete and Napoles were charged with plunder and graft for the alleged anomalous utilization of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of the then congresswoman and now Masbate Gov. Lanete.
The Sandiganbayan said that the pieces of evidence presented by the prosecution against the accused were weak.
“Wherefore, considering that there is a finding that the evidence of guilt of accused Lanete and accused Napoles is not strong for the reasons cited above, the respective applications for bail of accused Lanete and Napoles are hereby granted,” the Sandiganbayan ruling’s dispositive portion said.
The anti-graft court said that the bail bond was set at PHP500,000 for each of the two accused.
Because of this development, Lanete will be temporarily released from the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) Female Dormitory in Camp Bagong Diwa, Taguig City.
However, Napoles will remain incarcerated at the Correction Institution for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City in the sense that she has to serve the jail sentence of reclusion perpetua rendered by the Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) for the case of serious illegal detention filed against her by whistleblower Benhur Luy. PNA