Lawyer seeks charges vs Abad in pork scam
A lawyer on Monday petitioned the Sandiganbayan to include Budget Secretary Florencio Abad as a respondent in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.
“It was (Abad) who released the money. He’s actually the most guilty in this case,” Bonifacio Alentajan told reporters after filing his 10-page motion.
He said the budget secretary was instrumental in the release of notice of cash allocation (NCA) and special allotment release order (Saro) to bogus foundations owned by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the suspected brains of the alleged diversion of congressional allocations for the poor to ghost projects and fake foundations in exchange for kickbacks.
The lawyer noted that Napoles’ network of fake nongovernment organizations continued to receive the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel, allotments of several lawmakers even during the Aquino administration.
Abad said he didn’t think the lawyer after his neck was serious.
“Go back to law school,” Abad said when asked about the petition.
“In criminal cases, you just don’t file a motion to implead, you file a complaint in the Office of the Ombudsman,” Abad said.
In a text message to the Inquirer, Abad said: “As in the earlier plunder case he filed against me, I don’t think Alentajan is serious about filing the case.”
“Why is he doing it or upon whose urging he is doing it, I don’t know,” he added.
In a controversy that broke out in May last year when Napoles offered to turn state witness, she identified Abad as her pork mentor.
Napoles allegedly said in a document released by her relatives that Abad taught her how to set up fake foundations. Abad has denied the charge, or that he had received money from Napoles.
Asked why he filed the petition only now, Alentajan said he was able to secure only recently a copy of the Supreme Court’s resolution declaring the PDAF and the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP), Malacañang’s pork barrel system, unconstitutional.
As to why he did not submit his motion to the Ombudsman, Alentajan said it was because the high court had already taken over the jurisdiction of the PDAF scam-related cases.
Alentajan said that he filed the petition as a lawyer of Antonio Ortiz, the former director general of the Technology Resource Center who was among those charged with the alleged diversion of detained Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile’s pork barrel allocations.
Also detained in connection with the scam are Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, along with Napoles.
In his motion, Alentajan said that Abad’s “direct participation and indispensable cooperation” in the racket were evident in his role in the issuance of Saros and NCAs.
Citing the complaint filed by the Department of Justice and the National Bureau of Investigation, he said Abad “is the most guilty among the perpetrators of the cases (of) plunder, graft and corrupt practices.”
According to Alentajan, Abad’s exclusion from the criminal complaints “constitutes selective or discriminatory prosecution.”
He said Abad “appears to be the most guilty among the perpetrators” of the scam.
“His unjust exclusion as the principal accused granted him unwarranted benefits and advantage due to the manifest partiality, evident bad faith and gross inexcusable negligence by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales,” he said.
The lawyer said Budget Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and his associates—Marilou Bare, Rosario Nuñez and Lalaine Paule—merely performed their duties upon the orders of Abad but were included as accused in all criminal cases stemming from the alleged PDAF diversion to ghost projects.
“Abad should have been jointly charged with other respondents. Instead, he was deliberately, unlawfully and maliciously excluded prematurely as respondent,” he said.
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