Religious groups back independent body to probe pork scam

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An alliance of religious groups in the country on Wednesday joined calls for the creation of an independent body, to be led by the Catholic Church, to look into the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam.

Fr. Marlon Lacal, executive secretary of the Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines (AMRSP), said the country could not leave it to the government to uncover the truth about the controversy because state officials gained from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

“We really believe an independent investigation is in order because you cannot expect anything from the government since those people in government are the ones gaining from the pork barrel,” Lacal said Wednesday over Church-run Radio Veritas.

“They are vultures whose mouths are full so they don’t want their hands to be tied,” he added.

On Tuesday, Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle called on politicians and others involved in the pork barrel scam to repent and to go to the slums and experience what it was like to be poor.

Tagle described the scam as an “intricate web” of corruption.

“Whoever is involved there, I appeal to you, visit a community of informal settlers … walk there at night and you will see on the sidewalks the families who open these cartons on which they would sleep,” Tagle said at a press conference.

“Maybe if you could hold their hands, your hearts will also be touched … Sometimes, I think those who thought about doing this were able to do so because the poor were absent in their lives. Maybe they don’t see or refuse to see,” he said.—With a report from Michael Lim Ubac

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