Budget usec in pork scam case posts bail

Posted at 06/20/14 12:50 PM

MANILA – Mario Relampagos, a budget undersecretary implicated in the pork barrel scam, on Friday posted bail before the Sandiganbayan.

Relampagos, who was slapped with graft charges in connection with the pork barrel scam, has been accused of being the contact of alleged pork barrel scam player Janet Lim Napoles at the Department of Budget and Management.

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad earlier confirmed that Relampagos' functions at the department have been clipped.

Abad ruled out suspending or putting Relampagos on leave for now.

He explained that Relampagos had petitioned with the Sandiganbayan for judicial determination of probable cause.

The DBM chief said Relampagos is currently engaged mainly in monitoring and evaluation work, adding that the anti-graft court's ruling on his petition should be out soon.

Abad said Relampagos has nothing to do with fund releases now. "None at all, since last year pa."

Apart from the pork barrel cases, Relampagos' office was also investigated for the release of fake special allotment release orders (SAROs) last year. The SAROs trigger the release of government funds from state coffers.

Abad himself is linked to the scam, though he has yet to be indicted for any charge.

Another respondent in the pork barrel case, National Livelihood Development Corporation's Chita Jalandoni, who faces 7 counts of graft, posted a P90,000 bail. – reports from Adrian Ayalin and RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News; and Johnson Manabat, dzMM