Muntinlupa’s Ruffy Biazon posts bail for pork scam charges

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016. Filed under: Philippine News
Customs Commissioner Raffy Biazon as he inspects the submarine and Ducati motorcycle worth P19 million from Korea by the operatives of the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in Tondo, Manila on Friday, July 26,2013.(MNS photo)

Customs Commissioner Raffy Biazon as he inspects the submarine and Ducati motorcycle worth P19 million from Korea by the operatives of the Manila International Container Port (MICP) in Tondo, Manila on Friday, July 26,2013.(MNS photo)

MANILA, June 14 (Mabuhay) — Former Bureau of Customs (BOC) commissioner and incoming Muntinlupa Rep. Rozzano Rufino “Ruffy” Biazon on Tuesday posted bail for criminal charges in connection with his alleged involvement in the pork barrel scam.

Biazon, together with his lawyers, arrived at the Sandiganbayan building at around 8 a.m. and immediately proceeded to the anti-graft court’s Seventh Division for a booking procedure.

The P90,000 bail bond posted by Biazon was in exchange for his provisional liberty for one count of graft (P30,000), one count of malversation of public funds (P40,000) and one count of direct bribery (P20,000).

Biazon posted bail even before the Seventh Division determines if there is probable cause to hold him and his 14 co-accused on trial and to order their arrest.

The cases stemmed from Biazon’s alleged misallocation of his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel in 2007 to one of the fake foundations allegedly owned by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the pork scam.

Based on the information of the cases filed by the Office of the Ombudsman on April 22, Biazon allocated P3 million of his PDAF to the Napoles-linked Philippine Social Development Foundation, Inc. (PSDFI) in exchange of P1.950 million worth of kickbacks.

The Ombudsman said Biazon “unilaterally” chose and endorsed PSDFI to implement his supposed PDAF-funded livelihood project without holding a public bidding required under Republic Act 9184 or the Government Procurement Law.

The Ombudsman further alleged that the PSDFI was unqualified and unaccredited to carry out the project, which was later discovered to be “non-existent and were never implemented.”

The Ombudsman said Biazon’s co-accused, former Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) chairperson Zenaida Ducut, received the kickbacks from Napoles on the former lawmaker’s behalf.

Based on the Seventh Division’s records, Ducut has already posted bail on May 4.

Aside from Biazon and Ducut, the other respondents in the cases who have earlier posted bail were Department of Budget and Management former undersecretary Mario Relampagos, DBM former budget and management specialist Rosario Nuñez, DBM former administrative assistants Marilou Bare and Lalaine Paule, Technology Resource Center former deputy director general Dennis Cunanan and TRC former group manager Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana.

Biazon was re-elected as congressman of Muntinlupa on May 9 elections. (MNS)

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