Senator Gringo Honasan pays his final respect to Senator Flavier. (MNS photo)

Senator Gringo Honasan pays his final respect to Senator Flavier. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — The Department of Justice (DOJ) is still studying if certain politicians whose signatures were supposedly forged in fund release documents should be included in the third batch of charges related to the alleged pork barrel scam.

In an interview on Tuesday, DOJ Secretary Leila de Lima remained tightlipped when asked to identify government officials who will face charges for the alleged anomalies.

“Mahirap naman na inannounce na mga pangalan, tapos hindi naman sila kasama sa pagfile. It would unnecessarily naman affect them,” De Lima told reporters at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, where she joined Cabinet officials in sending President Benigno Aquino III off to his Japan state visit.

She added that her department continues to study the impact of the supposed forgery on some pork barrel-related documents to the new batch of charges.

Three or four individuals currently being investigated by the DOJ and the National Bureau of Investigation already made forgery claims, De Lima said.

“May findings nga na certain documents, not one and the same person, the handwriting. In other words, when they compare the specimen signature of the lawmaker concerned, hindi raw iyon,” the Cabinet official said.

“Pinaaral ko sa team, na is that enough to exculpate them. Continuing discussion pa po iyan,” she added.

On Monday, Justice Undersecretary Jose Justiniano said an incumbent senator and some administration allies would be among the personalities to be charged in connection with their supposed involvement in the pork barrel scam.

Justiniano, however, did not reveal any names.

On the other hand, the Philippine Daily Inquirer identified in its Tuesday edition some lawmakers reportedly included in the third batch of “pork” charges, including Senator Gringo Honasan, Secretary Joel Villanueva, and Rep. Rufus Rodriguez.

De Lima earlier confirmed that Villanueva’s signatures were forged in some pork barrel-related documents.

The DOJ chief nevertheless once again assured that her department’s pork barrel scam probe will not be affected by politics.

“Never naman naging consideration, we don’t look at the political color in our investigation… Ang palaging konsiderasyon ay ebidensya, kung may basehan yung isasampang kaso,” she said. (MNS)