NBI still verifying Napoles pork list of lawmakers
MANILA, Philippines—The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is still verifying whether incumbent and former lawmakers on the list of alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles did indeed direct their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allotments to nongovernment organizations controlled by the detained businesswoman.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who gave the National Bureau of Investigation until August to finish the verification process, yesterday said the NBI team had yet to file a report, even after being given a month-long extension.
“There’s an ongoing verification or validation of that list. We are confirming who on that list really had dealings with Napoles through her NGOs,” De Lima told reporters yesterday.
The process entailed checking the list against special allotment release orders (Saros) issued by the budget department covering the fund releases out of the lawmakers’ pork barrel allotments. De Lima said it was not easy to gather the Saros.
“I gave the NBI another month to complete the gathering of the Saros because when I followed up with the team, they said it was still not complete, especially those of the congressmen, because the list is long,” she said.
“So I’ll follow it up again, because the one-month (extension) has already lapsed,” she said.
In a tell-all affidavit released last April, Napoles named nine incumbent senators allegedly involved in the scam, including those already charged with plunder and graft: Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada.
The six others on Napoles’ list are Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Francis Escudero, Gringo Honasan, Loren Legarda, Aquilino Pimentel III and Vicente Sotto III. Napoles’ list also included former Senators Manny Villar and the late Robert Barbers.
Also named were 69 former and incumbent lawmakers, including Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, a former Batanes representative, and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority director-general Joel Villanueva, formerly a sectoral representative for the Cibac party-list group.
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