Former Senate president faces estafa case

Jonathan de Santos
Yahoo! Southeast Asia Newsroom

Police tried to arrest former Senate president Jovito Salonga for alleged estafa on Monday but failed to do so because he was too sick to be brought to the precinct.

According to a report on DZMM, a Pasig City court issued an arrest warrant against the 92-year-old Salonga over a fraud complaint filed by a certain Dr. Restituto Buenviaje. Police serving the arrest warrant found Salonga bedridden and being fed through a tube, the report said.

Instead of bringing the former lawmaker to the precinct, police submitted a status report to the court. Salonga's son, lawyer Esteban Salvador, went with the police, however, since a similar warrant had been issued against him.

The younger Salonga was allowed to go home after posting bail, the report said.

According to DZMM, the estafa complaint stemmed from a condominium project in Tagaytay that the Salongas tried to develop. Buenviaje bought a unit in 1997 for P11 million but the condominium has yet to be finished, the report said.

A certain Ferdinand Bañez, contractor for the project, has also been charged with estafa.

Salonga, an opposition leader during Martial Law, was Senate president from 1987 to 1992.

Yahoo Southeast Asia! asked the Liberal Party, of which Salonga is a stalwart, for a statement on the incident but they have yet to issue one as of this post.