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Santiago wants to expedite pork barrel cases

/ 06:11 PM March 04, 2016
Miriam Santiago

Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago during the Presidential Debates 2016 held in Capitol University in Cagayan de Oro City.
INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

Presidential candidate Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Friday slammed the supposed slow pace of filing of charges against officials involved in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam.

On Thursday, the Ombudsman ordered to file graft and bribery charges against five more former congressmen in relation to the P10-billion scam. Since 2013, three senators and six former congressmen have been charged.

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READ: 6 pork lawmakers face trial

Santiago, who is campaigning on an anti-corruption platform, wants to expedite the investigation on and prosecution of cases against those connected to the pork barrel scam.

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“If these corrupt politicians remain at large, they will return to power and again steal public funds,” she said in a statement.

Those who were ordered by the Ombudsman to be filed with criminal charges were former congressmen Ruffy Biazon of Muntinlupa City, Rodolfo Valencia of Oriental Mindoro, Marc Douglas Cagas IV of Davao del Sur, Arrel Olano of Davao del Norte and Arthur Pingoy Jr. of South Cotabato after denying their motions for reconsideration.

Other persons charged were officials from the Energy Regulatory Commission including Zenaida Ducut, the Department of Budget and Management, Technology Resource Center, National Business Corporation and representatives of non-governmental organizations.

READ: What Went Before: Biazon, Ducut, others charged

The Department of Justice has recommended the filing of charges against 24 legislators while the Commission on Audit has identified some 118 legislators linked to the scam.

“I will support the recent Supreme Court decisions on PDAF and the Disbursement Acceleration Program. They espouse the appropriate roles of the President and Congress in the use of public funds. The decisions ought to be supported not resisted,” Santiago said on both discretionary funds, which were both ruled as unconstitutional by the high court. RAM

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TAGS: corruption, Elections 2016, elections featured, PDAF, platform, Priority Development Assistance Fund, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago
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