By Czarina Nicole Ong-Ki
The arraignment of former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) chief and current Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. before the Sandiganbayan has once again been deferred to July 12 at 8:30 in the morning due to a pending petition before the Supreme Court (SC).
The anti-graft court’s Third Division said during Friday morning’s setting that the arraignment schedule is non-transferrable unless the SC issues a temporary restraining order (TRO).
Andaya’s camp filed the petition for certiorari with a plea for TRO before the SC just this Thursday. Because of this, his pre-trial has also been reset to July 12.
Andaya has been slapped with 97 violations of Section 3(e) of R.A. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act and another 97 violations of Article 217 in relation to Article 171(2) and 48 of the Revised Penal Code due to his involvement in the P900 million Malampaya fund scam from 2009 to 2010.
Back in 2009, it was agreed that P900 million from the special Malampaya fund was to be used to help farmers who were affected by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.
However, the funds were somehow diverted to the fake non-government organizations (NGOs) headed by Janet Lim Napoles.
Andaya reportedly approved the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR’s) fund request and signed the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) and Notice of Cash Allocation requested by his co-accused, former Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) Secretary Nasser Pangandaman, even before checking with the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) budget and management bureau.