Anti-graft court issues arrest warrants against Honasan, eight others for alleged misuse of funds
The Sandiganbayan Second Division issued arrest warrants against Sen. Gregorio Honasan II and eight others on Thursday over their two counts of graft cases that stemmed from their involvement in the alleged fraudulent use of P29.1 million priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.
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,” the anti-graft court said.
Honasan has yet to post bail.
Also ordered arrested for two counts of violation of Section 3 (e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act or Republic Act (RA) No. 3019 were Political Affairs/Project Coordinator Chief Michael Benjamin and National Council of Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) executives, namely: Secretary Mehol Sadain, Acting Chief Accountant Fedelina Aldanese, Director III Galay Makalinggan, Acting Chief Aurora Aragon-Mabang, and Cashier Olga Galido.
The Sandiganbayan also ordered the arrest of non-government organization (NGO) partner Focus Development Goals Foundation, Inc. officers Giovanni Manuel Gaerlan and Salvador Gaerlan.
Honasan, who is the fourth senator charged for alleged fraudulent use of discretionary funds, said he is innocent. “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,” he said in his Facebook page.
In April 2012, the Ombudsman found that the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) released P29.1 million as part of Honasan’s PDAF with the NCMF as implementing agency.
The prosecution said the fund was intended to finance small and medium enterprise/livelihood projects for the benefit of Muslim Filipinos in communities in the National Capital Region (NCR) and Zambales.
According to the Ombudsman, documents clearly showed that in June 2012, Honasan allegedly endorsed Focus Development Goals Foundation, Inc. without the benefit of compliance with procurement regulations.