P500-M PDAF case filed vs 20 lawmakers

The Senate pork barrel scam probe was suspended on Tuesday (Sept. 24, 2013) after Blue Ribbon Committee Chair, Sen. Teofisto Guingona III (left) expressed disappointment on Justice Secretary Leila De Lima for not bringing whistleblowers to testify at the hearing. (MNS photo)

The Senate pork barrel scam probe was suspended on Tuesday (Sept. 24, 2013) after Blue Ribbon Committee Chair, Sen. Teofisto Guingona III (left) expressed disappointment on Justice Secretary Leila De Lima for not bringing whistleblowers to testify at the hearing. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) -– Lawyer Levito Baligod filed malversation complaints against former and incumbent 20 lawmakers in connection with the pork barrel scam involving non-government organizations not linked to Janet Lim Napoles.

In his new P500 million Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam complaint, Baligod said the Ombudsman should investigate Senator Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr. and former senator Edgardo Angara for allegedly funneling their pork barrel funds from 2007 to 2010 to questionable NGOs.

Baligod also included in the charges former and current lawmakers, namely Prospero Nograles, Joseph Santiago, Roberto Cajes, Florencio Miraflores, Neil Tupaz, Carol Lopez, Edgar San Luis, Arturo Robles, Joel Villanueva, Rodolfo Antonino, Reno Lim, Julio Ledesma, Maria Evita Arago, Rachel Arenas, Alfonso Umali, Francis Bichara, and Marina Clarete.

Baligod noted that malversation, like plunder, is a non-bailable offense.

He added the new PDAF complaint did not involve NGOs being linked to Napoles, the alleged brains of the P10 billion scam. The lawyer said, however, that these non-Napoles NGOs employed a similar modus.

“Gusto nating tahakin ng Ombudsman ang malversation through falsification of public documents,” he said.

Baligod said the government implementing agency involved in the new cases is National Agri-business Corporation (Nabcor), whose former officials, Victor Cacal and Rhodora Mendoza, are now testifying in the ongoing pork barrel scam trials.

Also testifying are Bernadette Ricalde and Katherine Namoro, former staff members of Robes and her husband, Bulacan Rep. Arturo Robes, who allegedly controlled NGOs used in the scam.

Baligod also said that the new complaint was part of their original complaint and that the supporting documents are in the possession of the Department of Justice.

“Lahat ng documents on PDAF are already in the possession of the DOJ,” he said.

Baligod, however, was able to present copies of bank documents such as checks in his complaint as his preliminary evidence. He also mentioned that certain Commission on Audit officials should be investigated, including one who allegedly received a brand new car. (MNS)

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