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Spare no one in ‘pork’ probe, Senate urged

/ 11:43 AM August 15, 2014

Senator Joseph Victor “JV” Ejercito INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines–The Senate blue ribbon committee should continue its investigation of everyone—including administration allies—implicated in the congressional pork barrel scam and not stop at the three already detained opposition senators, Sen. JV Ejercito said on Thursday.

Ejercito made the call in reaction to a recent Pulse Asia survey showing that majority of Filipinos think the blue ribbon committee probe into the pork barrel scam was not fair because it seemed to be targeting only those not allied with the administration.

“The lady of justice (sic) is blindfolded. So if administration allies are involved in the issue—and we all know they have been mentioned—we should still continue the investigation,” Ejercito told reporters.

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Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Ejercito’s half-brother and one of the senators detained on plunder charges in connection with the pork barrel scam, yesterday said he felt vindicated by the survey findings, since it proved his contention that the Executive Branch and the blue ribbon committee had not been fair and objective, and that what was happening was a case of selective justice.

Estrada said the committee, chaired by Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, was used to demonize Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla, and himself and had “publicly convicted us before the bar of public opinion.”

“The chairman has clearly prejudged us way before it released its findings on the issue. The other members of the committee meanwhile used the panel as a forum to advance their selfish political agendas,” Estrada said in a statement.

According to the latest Pulse Asia survey, whose results were released yesterday, one in every two Filipinos believe that the Senate investigation into the pork barrel scam was unfair.

The survey asked respondents, “Is the ongoing investigation of the Senate on those accused of the misuse of the pork barrel or PDAF fair or not fair?”

The results showed 53 percent of respondents saying “It is unfair, only those who are not allies of the administration are being investigated and charged,” while 30 percent said, “It is fair, both allies and non-allies of the administration are being investigated and charged.”

The opinion that it is unfair was echoed in Metro Manila (61 percent), the rest of Luzon (55 percent), Visayas (50 percent) and Mindanao (46 percent) and among classes ABC (64 percent), D (53 percent) and E (48 percent).

The levels of agreement of those who claimed the Senate investigation to be fair were generally constant, ranging from 25 percent in Visayas to 32 percent in the rest of Luzon, and from 25 percent in Class ABC to 31 percent among Class E.

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Other respondents were ambivalent on the matter (11 percent) while others said they do not have enough knowledge to give an opinion (6 percent).–With Inquirer Research

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TAGS: blue ribbon committee, JV Ejercito, pork barrel scam, Probe, Senate
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