De Lima appears in Senate ‘pork’ probe


Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. RYAN LEAGOGO/INQUIRER.NET

MANILA, Philippines – Justice  Secretary  Leila de Lima on Thursday appeared in the Senate for the resumption of its investigation into the P10 billion “pork barrel” scam.

Also invited to the hearing by the blue ribbon committee were unnamed whistle-blowers although their lawyer, Levito Baligod, who was seen at the session hall of the Senate would not say if the whisteblowers  would appear and testify.

“Tingnan po natin pero sana makarating,”  Baligod  said in an interview with reporters before the start of the hearing.

“If ever they will appear, they will not name names because I instructed them to limit their testimony on the scheme. Yung scheme lamang para matulungan ang Senado na mag-craft ng bill para hindi na maulit ang pang-aabuso,” he said.

“But for acts already done, we have to give this to the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman,” Baligod added.

Also invited to the hearing were former and incumbent heads of the National Agribusiness  Corporation  (Nabcor) and  Zamboanga Rubber Estate Corporation (ZREC) – two of government-owned and controlled corporations that have been used as conduits by some legislators for pork barrel releases.

Allan Javellana and Rhodora  Mendoza , former president and vice president for finance and administration of Nabcor, testified  during last week’s hearing and identified Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce-Enrile and Senators  Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and  Ramon “Bong” Revilla  Jr. as among the  legislators who had allegedly funnelled their priority development fund (PDAF ) or pork barrel funds to at least three NGOs  of Napoles.

Former ZREC president Salvador Salacup also took the witness stand and  confirmed that the three senators  had also funnelled their  PDAF  to Pangkabuhayan Foundation Inc  but clarified that the foundation   was  not  among those reportedly linked to Napoles.

Javellana and  Salacup  were directed  last week by the committee to  return and  identify all other  legislators who had  coursed through them their pork barrel funds.

Related Stories:

Senate to expand probe of pork scam

Agri, Budget execs take stand as Senate resumes ‘pork’ probe

Janet Napoles and the pork barrel scam

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