DOJ looks beyond Napoles, eyes another pork scammer
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is moving on.
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima on Thursday said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) was looking into a pork barrel scam believed to be more massive than the P10-billion racket run by Janet Lim Napoles.
In a hearing for the budget of the DOJ, De Lima told members of the House of Representatives that no more charges would be filed against legislators in connection with the pork allegedly pocketed by lawmakers using nongovernment organizations (NGOs) of Napoles.
She said the DOJ already completed the filing of charges against lawmakers tagged by whistleblowers and mentioned in a special audit report of the Commission on Audit (COA) on congressional Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF).
According to secretary, any new batch of charges could come from the Ombudsman Fact Investigating Office.
“In so far as the DOJ is concerned, we have completed those covered by the COA involving Napoles NGOs with the testimonies of our whistleblowers. Yung mga susunod na batches, sa Ombudsman na manggagaling,” (The next batches would come from the Ombudsman) De Lima said.
She added however that “there is another possible batch” of charges but no longer involving Napoles NGOs.
At the sidelines of the hearing, De Lima said the next batch would involve bogus NGOs mentioned in the 2007 to 2009 COA special audit report on the PDAF.
She refused to confirm if she was referring to an alleged scam by Godofredo Roque, who is believed to have operated a racket that was more massive than that of Napoles.
Those charged for plunder over the Napoles scam are Senators Ramon Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, and former representative Rizalina Lanete and Edgar Valdez.
Charged for malversation are former Cagayan de Oro Rep. Constantino Jaraula, former Benguet Rep. Samuel Dangwa, and former Agusan Del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza.
Meanwhile, former lawmakers sued for malversation before the Ombudsman are: Ruffy Biazon, Douglas Cagas, Marc Douglas Cagas IV, Arrel Olano, Arthur Pingoy Jr., Rodolfo Valencia, and Zenaida Cruz-Ducut.
Last to be sued for malversation are Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan III, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (Tesda) Secretary Joel Villanueva, La Union Rep. Victor Ortega, Manila Rep. Amado Bagatsing, Abono Representative Conrado Estrella III, former Abono Rep. Robert Raymund Estrella, former La Union Rep. Manuel Ortega, and former Zamboanga Rep. Isidoro Real Jr.
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