MANILA, May 8 (Mabuhay) − BUHAY Party-list Representative Lito Atienza on Thursday filed House Bill No. 4345 creating an Independent Commission to investigate the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), from its creation to the alleged abuses that are now being exposed.
“We filed this bill in response to the people’s clamor for a speedier investigation into the PDAF scam. As of now there’s a continuing buck-passing and seeming avoidance of the truth. This proposed Independent Commission will investigate the alleged abuses from the time the pork barrel system was created during the 8th Congress in 1987 up to the present 16th Congress,” Atienza said in his explanatory note.
Atienza’s bill states that the Commission shall be composed of seven members to be appointed by President Aquino coming from the ranks of retired Supreme Court Justices.
“This relieves the Senate and the House of Representatives, many members of which have been implicated in the pork barrel scandal, from investigating itself, thus allaying fears of a possible whitewash. These retired Supreme Court Justices’ integrity is beyond reproach and the people can be assured that they would conduct the investigation without any political or personal considerations,” Atienza pointed out.
According to the veteran solon, with an Independent Commission buckling down to work, the public is assured of a speedy resolution of this issue. In this way, the government can focus on the more pressing day-to-day concerns such as the impending water and energy problems, the continuing poverty which plagues majority of Filipinos, and the peace and order situation − all of which require a concerted effort to effectively solve them.
The Commission will also make timely recommendations to avoid future occurrences of the same abuses.
“If we handle this scandalous abuse of public office and wanton raiding of public coffers and guilty parties are punished, we would come out a stronger democracy, without which, the very foundations of our institutions will continue to be damaged. With this Commission, we are assured of the truth coming out, the guilty being punished and the innocent absolved,” Atienza stressed. (MNS)