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DoJ to revisit pork scam cases

  • Written by Hector Lawas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 191

The Department of Justice (DoJ) would revisit pork barrel scam cases and address the supposed selective justice during the previous administration’s handling of the controversy.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II expressed belief that there was something fishy in the manner the previous administration conducted the investigation.

“What I know is that the DoJ then suppressed evidence against other politicians (involved in pork barrel scam),” he said.
   
He did not name the politicians, but critics earlier alleged that the DoJ under then secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima was selective in the probe and spared administration allies.
   
Aguirre said he would talk to Janet Lim-Napoles, the jailed businesswoman tagged as brains of the Priority Development Assistance Fund anomaly, to shed light on the matter.
   
“When Napoles first surfaced, she was brought to Malacañang and Mar (Roxas) accompanied her in Camp Crame. The question is why? They were obviously hiding something,” he stressed.
   
The DoJ chief said he would ask Napoles to really divulge everything she knew about the multibillion-peso anomaly without being selective this time.
   
“Why did she cover up for others when she knew they were all guilty. She won’t be able to get away with it anyway -- unless the President grants her pardon,” he pointed out.
   
“She could be a witness again, even not necessarily a state witness. Anyway she will be in jail due to her conviction in another serious illegal detention case. The only benefit she could get is to just tell the truth,” he added.
   
Aguirre explained that the DoJ reinvestigation was ordered by President Duterte.
   
“This is part of the President’s platform to rid the government of corruption,” he explained.
   
In the list she submitted to the DoJ in May 2014 for her bid for immunity from criminal suits in the PDAF scam, Napoles tagged nine senators in the PDAF scam: Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile, Vicente Sotto III, Loren Legarda, Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Alan Peter Cayetano, Gringo Honasan and Francis Escudero.
   
However, only Revilla, Estrada and Enrille were charged with plunder by the Ombudsman before the Sandiganbayan.
   
Former Senator Manny Villar was also on the list where Napoles affixed her signature and two thumb marks.
   
Also on the list were Liberal Party members -- former Budget secretary and Batanes Representative Florencio Abad and former Technical Education and Skills Development Authority head and now Senator Joel Villanueva. No charges were filed against Abad.