De Lima urged to include Deputy Speaker Fuentebella in ‘pork’ probe

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Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—Leaders from Camarines Sur urged Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to include Deputy Speaker Arnulfo Fuentebella on its initial list of legislators which will be subject of investigation in connection with the pork barrel scam.

The Partido whose leaders include Vice Mayor Alfredo Gonzaga of Goa, former Mayor Elmo Bombase of Tigaon and former Councilor Francisco Tria III of Sagnay pointed to Fuentebella’s Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and Various Infrastructure including Local Projects (VILP) allocations, which were included in the Commission on Audit’s special audit report for 2007-2009.

They accused the lawmaker of coursing his allocations to the Partido District Development Cooperative (PDCCI), a non-government organization allegedly headed by his driver.

Gonzaga said PDCCI was not even registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The COA special audit report  showed that the lawmaker got at least P197 million worth of fund consisting of P120 million in VILP for “hard” projects and another P76.8 million in PDAF for “soft” projects and P1 million more from other sources. Of these, P18.6 million in PDAF funds were endorsed for PDDCI projects for farmers’ livelihood training and entrepreneurial promotions and development program.

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