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Tupas posts bail; arraignment set

FORMER Iloilo Gov. Niel Tupas Sr.   on Tuesday   posted a P30,000 bail for his provisional liberty  after he was charged with graft over the payment to a private firm for the provincial government’s P4-million unused electricity.

The Sandiganbayan’s  Fifth Division lifted its arrest warrant on Tupas and set his arraignment  on Oct. 21at 8:30 a.m.

Last Monday, the anti-graft court ordered the arrest of Tupas, former assistant department head of the office of the provincial accountant Sandra Bionat and former general services department chief Ramie Salcedo.

The suit arose from a 2007 contract between the Iloilo government and the National Power Corp.. which was later assumed by NPC’s successor Green Core, for the bulk supply of electricity from Sept. 26, 2007 to Dec. 25, 2011 to facilitate the construction of the Iloilo multipurpose convention center.

The provincial government paid Greencore P5.88 million for the billing period of December 2009 to April 2010, but the Office of the Ombudsman said the actual power consumption of the province only amounted to P1.88 million.

Meanwhile, Senator Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada through his lawyer Paul Mar Arias urged the Fifth Division to summon Anti-Money Laundering Council documents relating to state witness Ruby Tuason.

Among the dossier  that AMLC must bring in court are the “suspicious transactions reports and covered transaction reports submitted by banks, non-bank financial institutions, covered institutions [as defined by the Rules and Regulations Implementing Republic Act 9160], and/or by government offices and agencies concerning financial transactions of Ms. Ruby Chan Tuason, including those pertaining to ‘related accounts’ relative to Ms. Tuason.”

He urged the court to order the AMLC to present the documents today, on   Sept. 30 and Oct. 2, 12, 14 and 19.The lawyer said that the AMLC should bring the documents before the court tomorrow, Sept. 30, and   Oct. 2, 12, 14, and 19.

Estrada is facing plunder and 11 counts of grafts for allegedly receiving commissions from his pork barrel fund channeled to fake foundations engineered by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.  

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