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Plunder, graft trials for Napoles, ex-Rep. Valdez over pork scam raps to begin in May

The Sandiganbayan has finally set the trial dates for the plunder and graft charges against businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles and former APEC party-list Rep. Edgar Valdez over the alleged pork barrel scam.

During a short pre-trial proceeding on Wednesday, the prosecution and defense have agreed to finalize the pre-trial order for both cases.

The anti-graft court's Fifth Division then set the initial dates for the graft case starting on May 10 and in every other Wednesday thereafter.

Meanwhile, the plunder trial will be held on two consecutive days every month. The prosecution is set to present their initial evidence on May 24 to 25, June 28 to 29, and July 19 to 20.

Valdez is facing plunder and seven counts of graft for his alleged involvement in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam. 

Based on the information of the case filed by the Office of the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan, he received a total of P57.78-million worth of kickbacks by allocating his PDAF from 2004 to 2010 to the non-government organizations linked to Napoles.

He posted a P1.71-million bail for the charges he is facing in April last year.

The Fifth Division also granted Napoles’ bail plea but she remains in detention because her request to post bail in the cases of Senators Ramon Revilla “Bong” Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile has been denied. — RSJ, GMA News