Latest Stories

‘If we’re at fault, then let us suffer the consequences’

By ,

Politically motivated or not, the pork barrel controversy should result in the prosecution of those who are liable, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile said on Thursday.

Enrile, the most senior among the opposition senators implicated in the P10-billion scam allegedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, also called on the National Bureau of Investigation to confront him if there was any case against him.

“If we’re at fault, then let us suffer the consequences,” Enrile said in Filipino.

Enrile answered in the negative when asked if the NBI had gotten in touch with him on the alleged misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

“I don’t know what they have.  It’s better that we will be confronted with their evidence,” Enrile said.

On the Department of Justice reportedly preparing charges against lawmakers implicated in the racket, Enrile said: “It’s OK. For me, they can investigate it. Better.”

No running away

Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, another opposition figure in the middle of the controversy, indicated he wouldn’t run away from accountability if charges were filed against him.

“Before, [my father President Joseph Estrada and I] had warrants for our arrest. We didn’t go in hiding,” Estrada said at the weekly news forum at the Senate.

Estrada also expressed faith in Justice Secretary Leila de Lima’s fairness. “I don’t think she will just file cases against lawmakers without basis,” he said.

Estrada and Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. revealed their children’s association with the Napoleses.

Estrada said his daughter was a classmate of a Napoles nephew. “She’s an acquaintance.  I won’t deny that I know her,” Estrada said of the alleged scam mastermind.

‘Legal and legitimate’

Estrada said he might have signed PDAF endorsements “but I do not know if those particular endorsements belong to her or to bogus nongovernment organizations.  I wouldn’t have known.”

Reacting to a report on the news website Rappler, Revilla said that his son Bryan’s business partnership with a Napoles child “was legal and legitimate.”

“I was introduced once or twice to Ms Napoles and have seen her occasionally in certain social gatherings.  Aside from the customary hi’s and hello’s, we had no other interaction with each other,”

Revilla said in a statement.

“My son Bryan, on the other hand, and one of her children were schoolmates in high school.  I understand that they, with other friends, were in the business of importing and selling rubber shoes.  This is the PB & J Corp.,” Revilla added.

Spare the children

Revilla said that the business “is being tainted with malice.”

“I think that this malicious story is another attempt by some sectors to malign us.  If they want to destroy me, let them go after me. Spare my children,” Revilla said.

Senators urged the investigation of the departments of agriculture and budget, saying these agencies had the duty to determine the legitimacy of requests for funding of projects under their pork barrel.

In separate interviews, Senators Gregorio Honasan, Ferdinand Marcos Jr. and Estrada stressed their offices did not have the “mechanism” necessary to check whether requests for financing from their PDAF were legitimate.

The NBI is looking into allegations that funds from the pork barrel of the three, along with those of Enrile and Revilla had been channeled to ghost projects of dummy nongovernment organizations (NGOs) controlled by Napoles.


Inaccurate, unverified

Six whistle-blowers, all former employees of Napoles, claimed in affidavits that over the past decade, P10 billion had been fleeced from the PDAF of the five senators and 23 members of the House of Representatives and other state agencies.

Honasan lamented what he described as a “serialized media account” of the NBI inquiry. “We were already warned, we were given information during the campaign that this would happen,” he told Inquirer.

Media reports on the alleged scam, Honasan said, were “incomplete, inaccurate and unverified.” He said he and his colleagues would not be unjustly vilified had the freedom of information bill he had sponsored in the last Congress have been signed into law.

Honasan said even the Commission on Audit had advised his office “not to react to the media reports” in the meantime that it was verifying the signatures of mayors who requested funding from PDAF and the purportedly dubious NGOs.

A senator’s office, he said, “has no capability or checking mechanism” such as that of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) to verify the requests.

Since the DBM collects certificates from requesting local government units (LGUs), he said, “all beneficiaries are verifiable at their level while a senator’s office can only identify a project based on a request from an LGU.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter


Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Bryan Revilla , DBM , Department of Budget and Management , Janet Lim Napoles , Juan Ponce Enrile , Leila de Lima , Napoles , Napoleses , P10-billion scam , PDAF , PDAF endorsements , pork barrel scam , Priority Development Assistance Fund , Ramon Revilla Jr.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Gigi Reyes back to face charges
  2. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  3. In the know: Gigi Reyes
  4. SC suspends proctor in 2011 bar exams
  5. Senator Pimentel backs German think tank’s stand vs dynasties
  6. Bar proctor suspended for photographing test papers
  7. Collector Danny Garcia says Inquirer worth more than news
  8. Meteor shower to light up PH skies
  9. What Went Before: Enrile denies Gigi Reyes was ‘other woman’
  10. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  5. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  6. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  7. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  8. Massive infra spending set
  9. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  10. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  9. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  10. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia


  • $57-B mega plan to solve Metro’s mega woes
  • Aquino vows to step up fight against corruption
  • Santiago scoffs at rushing defense pact for Obama visit
  • Former solon, 2 others sanctioned for unfair labor practice
  • Let us pray for the nation, healing priest asks leaders
  • Sports

  • PH pug Hipolito Banal decisions Colombian in Aiba
  • Former Pacquiao sparmate Porter keeps IBF title
  • Grueling 2014 Le Tour de Filipinas hits road
  • ICTSI Tour big hitters have edge at Sherwood
  • What Manny Pacquiao and Floyd Mayweather could do
  • Lifestyle

  • Transitions and resurrection in the performing arts
  • ‘Archaeology tour’ of Cebu’s heritage of faith
  • Historic Fort Bonifacio tunnel converted into a septic tank
  • ‘Imports’ from London, and play of the year
  • Korean animation comes of age
  • Entertainment

  • Easter musings
  • Solenn in shorts
  • Unmerry mix of attention-calling moves on ‘Mini-Me’ TV tilts
  • Persistence pays off for The 1975
  • Special section in LA fest for Filipino films
  • Business

  • BDO seen keen on bidding for Cocobank
  • Bataan freeport investment pledges up 1,302%
  • Golden Week
  • Bourse to woo Cebu stock mart investors
  • Supper power
  • Technology

  • Nasa’s moon-orbiting robot crashes down
  • Netizens pay respects to Gabriel Garcia Marquez
  • Nokia recalls 30,000 chargers for Lumia 2520 tablet
  • Facebook rolls out ‘nearby friends’ feature
  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Opinion

  • Gigi’s home
  • Palace stonewalls on MRT inquiry
  • Couple of things too
  • There is plenty of water behind Wawa Dam
  • Triduum thoughts of a young boy
  • Global Nation

  • Search for Etihad passengers launched
  • Japan presents $57-B ‘dream plan’ to solve Metro congestion
  • Tim Tebow’s charity hospital in Davao seen to open in 7 months
  • OFW died of Mers-CoV in Saudi Arabia, says family
  • Aquino, Obama to tackle US pivot to Asia during state visit
  • Marketplace