Palace to follow evidence amid Aquino ally’s alleged inclusion in Napoles list
MANILA, Philippines–Malacañang on Tuesday said it stands by its principle of letting the evidence direct the investigation on the pork barrel scam amid a Cabinet member’s alleged involvement in the issue.
“Malinaw ang batayang prinsipyong itinakda ni Pangulong Aquino sa simula’t sapul: hayaang ituro ng ebidensya ang direksyon ng pagsisiyasat. Walang hinihiwalay o kinakampihan, basta’s kongkretong ebidensya ang batayan,” Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said in a text message to media.
(The basic principle established by President Benigno Aquino III is clear from the very start: let the evidence point the direction of the investigation. There is no exclusion or taking of sides, as long as concrete evidence is the basis.)
Coloma was reacting to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad’s alleged inclusion in the list of incumbent and former lawmakers who received commission from the misuse of public funds.
In an exclusive interview on ABS-CBN’s “Bandila” on Monday, Secretary Panfilo “Ping” Lacson confirmed that Abad, who was a former congressman of Batanes, was included in the controversial list.
The complete list of lawmakers has yet to be revealed to the public. At present, there are different versions—one submitted to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and another allegedly given to Lacson months ago by Napoles’ husband Jaime.
Coloma did not elaborate on whether they believed Lacson’s version of the list since Aquino admitted that the two lists which he had already seen did not exactly match.
In an earlier media interview, Coloma said, “it is best” that the list first be submitted to the Office of the Ombudsman for proper assessment and appropriate action.
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