Honasan posts bail for graft charges

Sen. Gregorio Honasan

Sen. Gregorio Honasan

"After perusing the information... as well as the supporting evidence... 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 court said in its resolution.

Honasan II for graft charges over the alleged misuse of his Priority Development Assistance Fund or "pork barrel fund" worth P30 million in 2012.

"I am completely innocent of the charges against me".

Honasan maintained innocence saying: "All my life I have fought everything I am accused of, and I will continue to do so".

Honasan was expected to appear before the Sandiganbayan Thursday afternoon to post a P30,000 bail to skip jail, but it could not be confirmed if he has done so as of presstime.

The other senators charged for PDAF misuse are former senators Ramon Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, who were charged in 2014 with plunder and graft for allegedly pocketing kickbacks from purported ghost PDAF projects.

The anti-graft court issued the warrant of arrest for the case of violation of Republic Act No. 3019, or the "Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act", which was filed by the Office of the Ombudsman's (Ombudsman) Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) against Honasan.

The Ombudsman indicted Honasan for two counts of graft when he released R29.1 million in pork barrel funds to the NCMF in April 2012 to help small and medium-scale livelihood projects for Muslim Filipinos in the National Capital Region and Zambales.

The funds was was meant to finance small and medium livelihood projects for Muslim Filipinos in communities in Metro Manila and Zambales.

Likewise ordered arrested are Honasan's coordinator Michael Benjamin and former officials of the National Council for Muslim Filipino (NCMF), namely: Mehol Sadain, Fedelina Aldanese, Galay Makalinggan, Aurora Aragon-Mabang and Olga Galido.

After posting bail, the Sandiganbayan sheriff obtained court and police records on the surrender, arrest and detention of Honasan which were turned over to the 2nd Division Clerk of Court Office.

Senator Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon committee, said he knows Honasan as "upright". "I'm sure he will answer the charges in court", Gordon said.

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