Aquino allies in next batch to be charged | Inquirer News

Aquino allies in next batch to be charged

MANILA, Philippines—The next batches of complaints on the misuse of the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) and other state resources will include allies of President Aquino, according to a source who has knowledge of the investigation being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation.

The source also said that the investigations had been expanded to include dubious nongovernment organizations (NGOs) not controlled by Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the P10-billion pork barrel scam that has prompted her indictment for plunder, along with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.

“The next complaints will include names allied with the current administration and even members of the Liberal Party,” the source said.


The source added that the NBI had started its preparation for the next batch and would soon submit its report to the Office of the Ombudsman.


“It could be at the end of the month or early May,” the source said.

The source added that the next batches of lawmakers were to be charged with misuse of PDAF funds reaching P50 million, the threshold for plunder. “These will be filed as soon as the paper trail and documentation are completed,” the source said.

The source declined to say if more senators would be among those to be charged.

Financial records provided by Benhur Luy, a former Napoles employee who has turned state witness, would be part of the evidence to be submitted to the Ombudsman against the new batch of respondents.

The source added that like the first set of cases, the next batches would also be using as evidence the testimonies and documentary evidence submitted by the whistle-blowers, Commission on Audit reports and other documents from the implementing agencies.

Non-PDAF funds


In earlier interviews, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima stated that the next complaints to be filed could also involve non-PDAF funds, but still using Napoles-controlled organizations.

De Lima has also said the new cases would involve not PDAF-funded projects but the special projects of certain departments that were coursed through Napoles’ NGOs and whose funds were also misused.

The COA report listed a number of legislators allegedly involved in questionable transactions amounting to P541.7 million. The list included administration Representatives Niel Tupas Jr. and Isidro Ungab, and Director General Joel Villanueva of the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Implicated in a subsequent batch of cases filed in the Ombudsman was former Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon, a member of President Aquino’s Liberal Party.

On Nov. 30, 2013, the NBI filed malversation charges against former Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon and 27 others, including Zenaida Cruz-Ducut, the chair of the Energy Regulatory Commission, along with Napoles and several former members of the House of Representatives.

The other former congressmen included in the complaint were Salacnib Baterina, first district, Ilocos Sur; Arrel Olano, first district, Davao del Sur; Arthur Pingoy Jr., second district, South Cotabato; Rodolfo Valencia, first district, Oriental Mindoro; and Douglas Cagas and his son Marc Douglas IV, both from the first district of Davao del Sur.

They were charged with malversation, direct bribery, graft and corrupt practices.

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On Oct. 3, 2013, former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, three of her Cabinet secretaries and 20 others, Napoles included, were charged with plunder in connection with the alleged theft of P900 million from the Malampaya Fund meant for storm victims in 2009.

TAGS: dubious NGOs, Philippines

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