Sandiganbayan resets Andaya’s arraignment

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By James Hernandez

The Sandiganbayan 3rd Division has pushed back the arraignment of Camarines Sur Representative Rolando Andaya who is facing charges for his alleged involvement in the Malampaya fund scam.

The anti-graft court set the arraignment this July 12 after canceling it last May 31 due to his pending petition before the Supreme Court (SC) which he asked to issue a temporary retraining order (TRO) against the Sandiganbayan proceedings.

Andaya has been charged with 97 counts of graft and 97 counts of malversation of public funds through falsification of public documents.

Under the charges, he and his co-defendants are accused of having illegally diverted P900 million from the Malampaya fund allocated by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) between 2009 to 2010.

At that time, Andaya was budget secretary.

The defendants allegedly used non-government organizations (NGOs) under alleged pork barrel scam brains Janet Lim Napoles as conduits.

The funds were meant to be used for relief operations, rehabilitation, and reconstruction of areas affected by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.