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De Lima readying pork scam matrix

MANILA, Philippines–President Aquino will soon find out who’s naughty or nice.

With the National Bureau of Investigation set to file in the Office of the Ombudsman this week the third and last batch of pork barrel cases, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima is preparing to submit to the President a matrix that will present an overview of the alleged involvement of lawmakers, officials and other people in the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam.

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De Lima mentioned the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel, matrix last week at the hearing of the Commission on Appointments in the Senate where she was eventually confirmed as justice secretary.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano asked De Lima if there was “some order” in the inquiry involving many lawmakers, some of whom might not be involved.

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The justice secretary said she had been asked by the President to prepare a PDAF scam matrix that would give him an idea or overview of the involvement of people in the racket allegedly orchestrated by Janet Lim-Napoles.

She told Cayetano the matrix would have three categories.

De Lima said the first category covered people against whom there was sufficient evidence. She said cases against some of them had already been filed, or soon to be filed.

She said these cases would not only be based on testimonies by Benhur Luy, Napoles’ former finance officer, and other whistle-blowers and the records and documents they had provided.

“There are also other supporting documents (for this first category) and, this time, these confirmed the allegations because these included special allotment release orders (Saro), request for the release of these funds, requests designating Napoles’ nongovernment organizations (NGOs), memorandums of agreement with Napoles’ NGOs and implementing agencies and other related reports,” De Lima said.

“We are not saying this category listed the guilty ones. It’s the court that would say this after due process,” she added.

The second category includes people named by Napoles or Luy against whom evidence were incomplete, De Lima said.

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The third category names people whose involvement was apparently fabricated, especially if they were mentioned by Napoles but that accusations against them could not be corroborated by Luy.

De Lima said Napoles had yet to submit documents to back her claims against people allegedly involved in her pork barrel operations.

De Lima earlier told the Inquirer that she had proposed the PDAF scam matrix to the President in one of their discussions.

She said she intended to put in the matrix the evidence the NBI had gathered, including details such as the number of Saros used in the bogus projects.

De Lima said she planned to submit the matrix to Aquino “in a few weeks.” She said the President would probably share the document to the public.

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TAGS: Leila de Lima, pork barrel scam, pork scam matrix, Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF)
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