By Czarina Nicole Ong
Former Masbate Gov. Rizalina Seachon Lanete is asking permission from the Sandiganbayan Fourth Division to travel to Hong Kong from December 22 to 27, 2018 to celebrate Christmas and her birthday with her children and grandchildren.
Lanete bared in her motion for leave to travel abroad that she will be turning 67 this December 30. To celebrate, she hopes to be with her family on a six-day vacation and stay at The Salisbury-YMCA in Tsim Sha Tsui with them.
She added that she is not a flight risk. Though she is charged with plunder, the anti-graft court allowed her to post bail “on the ground that the evidence of her guilt is not strong.” She posted P830,000 back in 2016.
Lanete also said she has every intention of appearing during trial. When the Sandiganbayan issued a warrant of arrest against her, she voluntarily submitted herself before the jurisdiction of the court by surrendering to police authorities.
“Moreover, her official and social standing and her other personal circumstances’ further reduce, if not altogether eliminate, the risk of flight,” she said in her motion.
Lanete was charged with plunder and 11 counts of graft for allegedly misusing P108.405 million worth of priority development assistance fund (PDAF) when she was still Masbate representative, illegally diverting these to a fictitious nongovernment organization (NGO) owned by alleged pork barrel mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.