EXCLUSIVE: Honasan posts bail for graft charges

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 11 2017 10:56 AM | Updated as of Aug 11 2017 04:34 PM

MANILA (2nd UPDATE) - Senator Gringo Honasan on Friday posted bail at a local court in Biñan, Laguna after being charged with graft for alleged misuse of his pork barrel funds.

Honasan first surrendered to the Biñan City Police headquarters in Laguna, accompanied by his legal counsel, Atty. Dennis Manalo.

After his mugshot, finger prints and buccal swab, they then proceeded to the sala of Biñan Regional Trial Court Branch 25 Judge Teodoro Solis to post bail of P60,000 for the 2 counts of graft, which stemmed from alleged irregularities in the disbursement of P30 million from his pork barrel funds in 2012.

"Accused Gregorio Ballesteros Honasan II has already been arrested by the Police Officers of PNP, City of Binan, Laguna per Return of Warrant of Arrest and Certificate of Detention dated August 11, 2017, respectively. He was detained at PNP, City of Binan. Laguna and was brought to this Court," Judge Solis said in his order.

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.

“Finding the same to be in order, the bond is hereby approved. Accordingly, the Chief of Police, PNP, City of Binan, Laguna or any of his duly authorized representative is hereby ordered to release accused Gregorio Balesteros Honasan II from his custody immediately upon receipt hereof unless there is/are other case/s that warrant/s his continued detention,” Solis said in his order. 

The documents obtained by the sheriff were turned over to the Docket Section of the Sandiganbayan and then to the office of the Clerk of Court of the 2nd Division, which is handling the cases of Honasan.

The 2nd Division has already scheduled the arraignment of Honasan and his co-accused on September 22, 2017. 

The Sandiganbayan 2nd Division earlier ordered the arrest of Senator Honasan after finding probable cause in the graft charges filed against him in relation to the multibillion peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam. 

Honasan has maintained that he is innocent of the charges filed against him. 

"I am completely innocent of the charges against me. All my life I have fought everything I am accused of, and I will continue to do so," he said in a tweet Thursday.

A former rebel, Honasan has been implicated in several coup attempts against the administrations of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and the late Corazon Aquino.

Honasan has been elected senator four times already and took a shot at the vice presidency in the 2016 elections, becoming the running-mate of former Vice President Jejomar Binay under the United Nationalist Alliance. He lost the polls, placing last.

Honasan is the fourth senator to be charged for his alleged role in the fund disbursement racket, first busted in 2013. 

Currently on trial for alleged involvement in the scheme are former senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. 

The Supreme Court declared Priority Development Assistance Funds unconstitutional months after the controversy was first bared. With reports from Noel Alamar, DZMM and Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News