DOJ gets copies of Saros of lawmakers linked to pork scam
MANILA, Philippines—Justice Secretary Leila De Lima on Wednesday said they already have the copies of the Special Allotment Release Order or Saros of lawmakers allegedly involved in the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund scam.
De Lima said the Saros are part of the vetting process being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation to determine the veracity of the affidavit of businesswoman and alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
“I think yung lahat ng senators na nasa listahan ni Mrs. Napoles, nakuha na yung mga Saros so we’re just evaluating it but these are just Saros. It doesn’t confirm yet or it’s not yet proof na nakipag-deal na yung lahat ng mga senators na yun with Napoles,” De Lima told reporters in an ambush interview Wednesday.
She said that the Saros are just “proofs” that the senators named by Napoles in her affidavit indeed have PDAF allocation.
“As to whether or not these funds went to Napoles-linked NGOs are still being verified. So it would still entail gathering of details from the agencies concerned,” De Lima said.
The DOJ chief said they would also coordinate with the Commission on Audit if the latter already have audit reports or findings on the projects funded by the lawmaker’s PDAF allocation. She admitted that it is a “gigantic task” due to the sheer details and information involved.
“This is really a gigantic task because iba-ibang year. May mga matagal na, may mga recent pa. Except for the 2007 to 2009 na mga klarado na ay yung mga iba puro verification lahat,” she further said.
In her affidavit, Napoles linked 18 former and incumbent senators to the scam.
The incumbent senators are Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, Lito Lapid, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Vicente “Tito” Sotto III and Cynthia Villar.
Enrile, Estrada and Revilla are already detained after the Sandiganbayan issued warrants for their arrest.
The former senators named on the list are Robert Barbers (deceased), Loi Estrada, Rodolfo Biazon, who is now a congressman representing Muntinlupa City, Robert Jaworski, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Tessie Aquino-Oreta, Manuel Villar and Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel.
Aside from the senators, Napoles also linked some 100 congressmen to the multi-billion peso scam.
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