Pork solons want NBI to verify authenticity of their signatures
MANILA, Philippines—Several lawmakers and local executives implicated in the pork barrel controversy have asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to examine the authenticity of their signatures in the documents related to the questionable use of their Priority Development Assistance Funds, according to an NBI official.
Virgilio Mendez, NBI Director, said the agency’s Questioned Documents Division (QDD) received requests from some public officials asking to scrutinize the genuineness of their signatures that appeared in the documents presented as evidence in the allegations that their pork barrel projects ended in the fake nongovernment organizations (NGOs) controlled by alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.
“The lawmakers asked if we could examine the documents and authenticate that their signatures were forged or not,” Mendez said.
He also said the lawmakers who submitted their signatures for examination had not been charged in connection with the pork barrel scam using the fake NGOs of Napoles.
He declined to identify the public officials, but confirmed earlier pronouncement of Tesda director general and former partylist representative Joel Villanueva that he asked NBI-QDD to examine the documents he supposedly signed in the transactions with the group of Napoles.
The camp of Villanueva had earlier announced that the NBI –QDD found his signatures in the documents to have been forged.
But Mendez refused to give details of the result of the examination on Villanueva’s documents, claiming he had no personal knowledge of the result.
“He had asked our questioned documents division and had been furnished a copy of the result,” Mendez said.
Mendez defended the examination of signatures in the documents connected to the pork barrel scam, saying it did not hamper the NBI investigation of lawmakers accused of receiving kickbacks from their pork barrel funded projects through the fake Napoles NGOs.
He said the examination on the signatures could not encumber the ongoing investigations being conducted by other divisions trying to ascertain the culpability of other public officials linked to the misuse of their pork barrel funds.
“Their work did not conflict with the ongoing investigation being conducted by other division of the agency in relation to the misuse of the public funds because its result is just a part of the investigation,” Mendez said.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.