MANILA, Philippines – More lawmakers will be charged in relation to the illegal diversion of lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to bogus projects.
Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima said on Friday, April 4, that a third batch of cases will be filed before the Office of the Ombudsman over the siphoning of pork barrel.
The complaints to be filed were discussed during a closed-door meeting attended by De Lima, National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Director Virgilio Mendez, NBI Special Task Force chief Rolando Argabioso, and Justice Undersecretary Jose Justiniano who is in charge of the PDAF cases.
“Nag-inventory na kami kung ano na yung mga pwedeng isunod. May two sets na tinitingnan pa namin kung alin ang pwedeng unahin,” she said. (We made an inventory of complaints can be filed next. There are two sets which we are looking into and assessing which to file first.)
The justice secretary, however, refused to name the lawmakers to be charged or how many they are. She also fell short of discussing the timeline set for the filing of the cases.
“It’s a new batch so ang common lang naman diyan ay si Mrs Napoles and mga implementing agencies. Yun more or less common. Pero yung lawmakers, every batch there ought to be new names,” she said. (It’s a new batch so the common ones would be Mrs Napoles and the implementing agencies. Those are more or less common. But for the lawmakers, there ought to be new names in every batch,)
Janet Lim-Napoles is the alleged mastermind of the pork barrel scam. Non-governmental organizations in her name served on paper as fund beneficiaries of lawmakers’ PDAF.
The sham was exposed by Benhur Luy, who is the state’s principal witness in the cases.
De Lima, however, clarified that the impending PDAF-related complaints may or may not involve Napoles’ ploy.
The DOJ’s announcement came on the heels of the Ombudsman’s resolution to file plunder charges against Napoles and Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Jinggoy Estrada for allegedly receiving kickbacks from the multi-million-peso PDAF scam. – Rappler.com