MANILA – The pre-trial of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles and former Association of Philippine Electric Corporation (APEC) party-list lawmaker Edgar Valdez was cancelled Monday and moved to February 6, 2017.
The Sandiganbayan 5th Division reset the pre-trial date as the prosecution panel has yet to review the minutes of previous preliminary conferences, while the defense will still finalize marking documentary exhibits.
The anti-graft court also granted Valdez’s request that it separately hear his plunder and graft cases.
Valdez argued holding separate trials on the two cases will expedite the proceedings.
He noted that only three individuals were charged with plunder, while his graft cases involved 28 individuals. The documentary evidence for both cases "are not totally identical," he said.
Valdez is currently out on bail for his plunder and graft cases. He was accused of pocketing more than P57 million worth of kickbacks from his pork barrel using alleged Janet Lim-Napoles' owned non-government organizations.