Relampagos: My job in pork process was only ministerial

by Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 03 2014 12:28 PM | Updated as of Jul 03 2014 10:44 PM

MANILA - The lawyer of Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos argued before the Sandiganbahan that his job in the processing of the pork barrel funds was only ministerial.

Relampagos and other employees of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) were earlier ordered arrested by the first division of the anti-graft court.

During the hearing of their motion for reconsideration on the finding of probable cause, lawyer Arnold Caga said Relampagos only "ministerially" signed 5 special allotment release orders in the absence of former Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya.

Justice Rafael Lagos seemed to agree with the defense and quizzed the prosecution on the nitty-gritty of the transactions within the DBM.

The prosecution was not able to answer the questions of Lagos on SAROs and sub-SAROs, which was used in the argument of the defense.

While Relampagos signed the SAROs, he did not sign the sub-SAROs which do not pass through his office, Caga said.

These sub-SAROs go directly to the implementing agencies, which allegedly gained from the pork barrel scam.

The motion by the defense was ordered submitted for resolution by division chairman Justice Efren Dela Cruz after the defense has complied with the 5 day period to submit their written comment and 5 days for the prosecution to submit their reply.