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Pork probe should extend beyond 2009, lawyer urged

/ 05:41 PM July 09, 2015

AN anti-pork barrel advocate on Thursday said an audit of Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) and Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) funds should extend not only up to 2009 but up to the term of President Benigno Aquino III.

Atty. Levito Baligod, former counsel of the whistleblowers in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, said the inquiry by the National Bureau of Investigation should not only focus on the period between 2007 and 2009 but also extend up to the current administration.

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He said this will determine how even allies of the Executive have spent their share of pork barrel funds.

Baligod made the statement following the call of Vice President Jejomar Binay who said that the DAP and PDAF of his accusers, namely Senators Antonio Trillanes, Aquilino Pimentel III and Alan Peter Cayetano, should also be subjected to an inquiry in the spirit of transparency.

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“My position ever since is for the PDAF and DAP funds of all legislators to be scrutinized too,” Baligod told reporters adding that alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles implicated many legislators in her tell-all affidavit last year.

Two batches of criminal cases have so far come out of the NBI probes. A third batch, which is said to include administration allies, has yet to be filed.

Baligod used to be the lawyer of whistleblower Benhur Luy and several other former employees of alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles. Their testimonies led to the filing of charges against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

Asked if it was possible to find out if pork barrel funds of lawmakers like Trillanes, Pimentel and Cayetano were also misused, Baligod replied: “Lalabas po iyan kapag mayroon impartial investigation and we can provide some information kung sakali.”

Pimentel and Cayetano were included in the so-called “Napolist” that listed lawmakers who allegedly benefitted from the pork barrel fund scam. The Department of Justice (DOJ) has investigated Napoles’ affidavit since March last year, but no cases have since been filed in addition to the plunder cases against opposition Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.

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TAGS: Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), Janet Lim Napoles, pork barrel scam, Priority Assistance Development Fund (PDAF)
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