Drilon denies involvement in pork scam
MANILA, Philippines – Senate President Franklin Drilon dismissed anew talks of his alleged involvement in the “pork barrel” scam, saying his name would not appear in any ‘pork” list of alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
Drilon said there had been text messages circulating that he was among the senators that Napoles had allegedly implicated in the pork scam but he strongly denied it.
“I think again these are the black propaganda operators who were doing the same thing last year,” he said during a press conference in the Senate on Thursday.
“They have been tapped to muddle the issue, by spreading lies and baseless accusations. We must not allow mudslinging and smear campaign dahil lalo lamang nagugulo ang proseso sa paghahanap ng katotohanan. These are the kinds of propaganda that will only ruin our quest to find out the truth,” he said.
The Senate leader reiterated that none of his pork barrel funds went to alleged bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to Napoles.
“In so far as I’m concerned, my name is not and will never be in in any list because I have not assigned a single peso of my PDAF to any NGO of Mrs. Jane Napoles,” Drilon said. PDAF is Priority Development Assistance Fund also known as “pork barrel” funds.
He said the only NGO that he has been working with for the past several years is the Federation of Filipino Chinese Chambers of Commerce.
“I can account for every peso of my pork barrel. That’s why I’m very confident and I’m very strong in my statement that I’m not in any list and I have not utilized to the NGOs which are charged to be fake . I can account for every single peso of the funds that were allocated to me under the budget,” said the Senate leader.
In fact, Drilon was ready to support calls by some of his colleagues to make the alleged “pork” list public but only if such list was supported by “credible and “documentary” evidence.
“If the listahan (list) is supported and substantiated by credible and documentary evidence, please go ahead,” he said when asked about the list that former senator and now rehabilitation czar Panfilo Lacson disclosed to the media.
“Pero kung listahan lang naman, siguro naman pag-ingatan ang institution ng Senado (But if it’s only a list, maybe we should protect the institution of the Senate),” Drilon added.
He reiterated that the charges against those allegedly involved in the scam must also be supported by “compelling and undeniable documentary evidence.”
“Because under the rules of court and under our rules of evidence, where the subject of the inquiry is the content of the document, the best evident is the document. No other evidence is better than the document, because documents do not lie,” Drilon pointed out.
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