Masbate governor facing plunder surrenders

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 19 2015 10:05 AM | Updated as of Feb 19 2015 11:56 PM

Governor Rizalina Seachon-Lanete

MANILA (UPDATE) - Former Masbate Representative and now Governor Rizalina Seachon-Lañete, who is facing charges in connection with the pork barrel scam, surrendered to the police Wednesday evening.

Seachon-Lañete surrendered to Philippine National Police – Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) chief Director Benjamin Magalong. She underwent booking process at around 8:30 p.m.

"Ang gusto lang nila ay tahimik sila at voluntarily darating sila sa Camp Crame. Iyun lang ang usapan namin. Wala naman hingian kung ano ang pwede namin ibigay sa kanila, nothing of that sort. Ang gusto lang nila ay i-turn in nila ang sarili nila sa CIDG," Magalong said.

The governor's surrender came after the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division released a warrant for her arrest.

According to Magalong, Seachon-Lañete's son and Masbate 3rd District Rep. Scott Davies Lañete sent surrender feelers a week ago.

"One week na negotiation ito dahil nalaman nga namin na anytime ilalabas na yung warrant of arrest for plunder. It's a non-bailable offense. Napag-usapan nga namin na once na lumabas yung warrant of arrest na issue ng Sandigan, immediately he will get in touch with me," Magalong said.

Magalong also confirmed that the CIDG will bring the governor to court tomorrow, February 20, to await the decision on where to detain the governor.

Seachon-Lañete is facing one count of plunder and 11 counts of graft for her alleged involvement in the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.

She is accused of pocketing P112.29 million in kickbacks from her Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) from 2007 to 2009.

Also ordered arrested were 30 other individuals who are Lañete's co-accused in her 11 counts of graft.

The Sandiganbayan deferred the issuance of an arrest warrant against Lañete's chief of staff, Jose Sumalpong.

Sumalpong filed an urgent motion to defer the issuance of warrant of arrest. – reports from Jeff Canoy, ABS-CBN News;  Johnson Manabat and Robert Mano, dzMM