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Relampagos’ lawyer seeks termination of service of client

The lawyers of fugitive former Department of Budget and Management Undersecretary Mario Relampagos want their services for the accused terminated.
A three–page motion dated February 5, 2018 was filed by lawyers Godofredo de Guzman and Arnold Caga before the Sandiganbayan Fifth Division.
The motion stated that, “For the past few weeks, the undersigned law firm has exerted utmost efforts to convince accused Relampagos to return and face the charges against him.
“Despite earnest efforts, accused Relampagos has not heeded his counsel’s advice.”
Because of this, the law firm told the court that it humbly submits that it can no longer carry out its responsibilities effectively for reasons beyond its control.

The law firm asked the court that it be relieved as counsel for the accused Relampagos who is out of the country at the moment.
Earlier, the lawyers of Relampagos revealed they were convincing their client to return to the country to face his more than 300 criminal cases pending before the anti-graft court.
The accused is a co-accused in the pork scam cases of former Masbate governor Rizalina Seachon-Lanete, former Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rodolfo Valencia, and former Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Bong Revilla Jr., and Jinggoy Estrada.
This is aside from the case of former Department of Budget and Management (DBM) chief and incumbent Camarines Sur Rep. Rolando Andaya Jr. and former Agrarian Reform secretary and now Masui City, Lanao del Sur Mayor Nasser Pangandaman over the alleged P900-million Malampaya fund scam in which he is also a co-accused.
Relampagos failed to return to the country after he was allowed by the court to travel to the United States of America for 31 days.
He was declared a fugitive from justice by the Seventh Division of Sandiganbayan for failing to return to the country.
Apparently, Relampagos has told one of his lawyers that he would no longer return to the country because he cannot “psychologically and emotionally bear” his cases before the Sandiganbayan.
Relampagos flew to the US to attend a eeting of the International Consortium on Governmental Financial Management and also to pay a visit to his daughter and three grandchildren in the said country.
Alvin Murcia

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