MANILA (Mabuhay) — Justice Secretary Leila de Lima will ask Justice Undersecretary Jose Justiniano to give his final recommendations on the third batch of cases in connection with the “pork barrel” scam.
De Lima denied issuing any statement saying the third batch of cases is “no longer” a priority of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
“I’d like to take this opportunity to say na hindi ko sinasabi na hindi ito priority, only that marami ang priority ko. Hindi lang ako maka-focus, although I assigned that already to Usec. [Justiniano]… he is busy; halos araw-araw siya nasa Sandiganbayan.”
“Wala po ako sinasabi na hindi yan priority. Sinabi ko na noon na intindihin ang kalagayan ko dahil marami kasi ako sabay sabay na priority. Ang balak ko sa 3rd batch na yan, I will meet Usec. [Justiniano] this afternoon and I will ask him to give me already a final recommendation…. especially doon sa pinapa-review na may mga fake signatures,” de Lima said.
The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), an attached agency of the DOJ, has filed two batches of complaints, so far, with the Office of the Ombudsman pertaining to the multi-billion peso scam involving non-government organizations linked to detained businesswoman and alleged “pork barrel” scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
Some of these cases are now pending with the Sandiganbayan, including the ones against detained Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, and several congressmen.
The Justice chief, meantime, refused to comment on reports another Commission on Audit (CoA) report has identified more lawmakers, including administration allies, to have misused their “pork barrel” and Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) allocations.
“I have not seen that CoA report so I cannot comment on that. Assuming there is a CoA report, I’m sure ipapadala rin yan sa Ombudsman o kaya ire-refer sa IAGCC (Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council) as as continuation fo the still-ongoing investiagtions sa [priority development assistance fund],” de Lima said. (MNS)