MANILA, Philippines – Lawyer Levito Baligod, the former counsel of pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy, gave the Department of Justice (DOJ) a one-month ultimatum to file charges against the 3rd batch of lawmakers implicated in the multi-billion-peso corruption.
If the government won’t, Baligod will file the plunder complaints himself, he announced on Tuesday, May 5.
Baligod expressed disappointment in the statement of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima that pursuing more lawmakers and players involved in the pork barrel scam and the P900-million Malampaya Fund scam was not among its priorities now.
“The latest statement [of De Lima] is a clear indication that they are running from their fight against corruption,” he said.
Baligod pointed out that De Lima committed in 2014 to file the 3rd batch of pork barrel scam complaints. “Almost a year has passed, and the Department of Justice seemed not yet ready for it.”
De Lima told reporters earlier that the signatures of lawmakers suspected of conniving with Napoles to steal public funds did not match the documents in their possession, hence delaying the filing of the cases.
In a text message to reporters, De Lima remained firm that the filing of the 3rd batch is not an priority of the agency now.
“I was just stating a fact that, indeed, there are very important and urgent matters on my table. At any given time, I need to attend to several priority matters/assignments simultaneously or almost simultaneouslty, I already repeatedly said why [the] 3rd batch is still on hold,” she said.
Baligod is a private complainant in the pork barrel case that has implicated 3 senators and a number of congressmen. He was also the counsel of Luy and two other whistleblowers until he was relieved in March 2014, allegedly because he failed to provide enough time for his clients.
Apart from giving DOJ an ultimatum, Baligod earlier claimed that he’s also preparing new charges against non-Napoles non-governmental organizations that also dipped their dirty fingers in the pork barrel allocation of lawmakers. – Rappler.com