MANILA - Sen. Gregorio Honasan on Friday refused to enter a plea during his arraignment at the Sandigabayan 2nd Division for two graft cases involving his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
Honasan’s refusal to enter a plea prompted 2nd Division Chairman Oscar Herrera Jr. to plead not guilty on his behalf for each of the two cases, per court procedure.
“I was advised by my lawyer,” Honasan said in an interview with the media after his arraignment.
Honasan is facing two counts of graft for the supposed misuse of P29.1 million of his PDAF in 2012 under a fund diversion scheme linked to businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
He was ordered arrested in August but immediately posted bail as he asserted innocence.
In open court, Herrera denied Honasan’s motions to quash warrant of arrest and to dismiss the case or order its re-investigation.
Honasan’s lawyer Dennis Manalo tried to defer the arraignment by asking for a copy of the court resolution denying their motions, but the proceedings pushed through.
Honasan is the fourth senator to face charges at the Sandigabayan after former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon "Bong" Revilla.