Bong Revilla, Honasan to skip Senate probe on 'pork' scam

(Updated 3:50 p.m.) Despite being dragged into alleged anomalies involving pork barrel funds, Senators Ramon Bong Revilla Jr. and Gringo Honasan on Wednesday said they will not attend the Senate probe on the supposed misuse of these discretionary funds.

In a statement, Revilla said he will skip the inquiry out of "prudence," adding that he is also not a member of the Senate blue ribbon committee, which will conduct the investigation on Thursday.

He, however, said that he "fully supports the inquiry as all of the other investigations into the matter."

"Naniniwala ako na sa isang patas at objective na pagsusuri sa kontobersiya ay lalabas ang katotohanan. Those truly responsible should be held accountable and punished," Revilla said.

In a separate statement, Honasan said he decided not to attend the inquiry because the "Senate should focus more on the real issue rather than put on the spot the different personalities who are involved in the controversy."

Honasan also said he supports the Senate blue ribbon committee probe on the alleged pork barrel scam.

Last month, the Philippine Daily Inquirer identified Revilla and Honasan as among the five senators who allegedly allocated portions of their pork barrel funds to ghost projects worth P10 billion.

Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.and Jinggoy Estrada were also linked by the newspaper report to the alleged anomaly.

Revilla, Enrile and Estrada were also identified in a recent Commission on Audit (COA) report as among the lawmakers who supposedly received excess pork barrel funds from 2007 to 2009.

Last week, Enrile said he is "ready to be investigated and prosecuted" in connection to alleged irregularities in the use of his pork barrel funds.

Public indignation over the alleged misuse of pork barrel funds has led to the largest protest under the Aquino administration, and has prompted President Benigno Aquino III to move for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the formal name of pork barrel funds received by lawmakers every year.

Jinggoy to attend

Estrada, meanwhile, said that he will attend the investigation, but did not say if he will subject himself to questioning.

"I will attend tomorrow's hearing and I will answer questions in the proper forum if ever I will be implicated," Estrada said in an interview.

Asked if the Senate is the proper venue for him to clear his name, Estrada said, "I don't know if this is the proper forum."

Marcos, for his part, said he has not yet made up his mind on whether or not to show up at the probe.

"I haven't decided yet on what to do... Let me just think about this first," Marcos said in a separate interview.

He also declined to state why he still has qualms about attending the congressional inquiry.

Chiz wants more witnesses

Senator Francis Escudero, meanwhile, called on the Senate blue ribbon committee to invite more witnesses in the investigation.

He said he particularly wants the Senate panel to invite whistleblowers of the alleged anomaly, as well as past and incumbent officials of agencies which reportedly transferred pork barrel funds to bogus NGOs.

"We only hear and read about them from the news. It is time we hear it straight from these people," Escudero said in a separate interview.

He identified the National Agribusiness Corp (NABCOR),

Technology Resource Center (TRC), National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC), Zamboanga del Norte Rubber Estate Corp. (ZREC) and the Philippine Forest Corp. (PhilForest) as among the list of entities that he would ask to be called before the committee.

So far, only COA officials have been identified as resource persons for the Senate probe. — KBK, GMA News

Loading...

Editor’s note:Yahoo Philippines encourages responsible comments that add dimension to the discussion. No bashing or hate speech, please. You can express your opinion without slamming others or making derogatory remarks.

  • US renews travel warning to Mindanao
    US renews travel warning to Mindanao

    The US State Department renewed its warning about the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu archipelago, certain regions and cities of Mindanao and the southern Sulu Sea area. In an update on Wednesday of a travel warning it issued Nov. 20, 2014, the State Department said US citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu archipelago due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there. …

  • Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda
    Phl gains support for APEC Action Agenda

    The Philippine initiative to put the interests of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) front and center in global and regional trade has made significant progress following the conclusion on Thursday of the 2nd APEC Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM2) and Related Meetings in Boracay, Aklan. Called “The Boracay Action Agenda to Globalize MSMEs,” the Philippine proposal calls for a host of specific, concrete and practical interventions that APEC economies can implement to provide MSMEs wider …

  • Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week
    Phl to join Bangkok meet on Rohingya crisis next week

    The Philippines will join a 15-nation meeting in Bangkok, Thailand next week to address the migration crisis involving thousands of Rohingyas who escaped persecution in Myanmar and Bangladesh. Justice Secretary Leila de Lima bared this yesterday after meeting with United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) representative to the Philippines Bernard Kerblat. In an interview, De Lima said the Philippine government has been invited to the meeting. …

  • Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon
    Magnitude 4.2 quake jolts Sorsogon

    LEGAZPI CITY—A magnitude 4.2 earthquake hit Prieto Diaz town in Sorsogon before dawn yesterday, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said. …

  • Drought-resistant rice breeds bared
    Drought-resistant rice breeds bared

    SCIENCE CITY OF MUÑOZ, Nueva Ecija – Amid the searing heat, the Philippine Rice Research Institute central experiment station here has identified nine rice breeds which have been proven to be drought-resistant and produce high yields in temperatures as high as 38°C based on a recent study. Thelma Padolina, lead researcher of the study titled “Screening of rice-induced mutants for heat and drought tolerance,” identified the breeding lines as the Ballatinaw lines, PSB Rc72H and Azucena lines. …

  • Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning
    Phl, US assert rights, ignore China warning

    The United States military will continue air and sea patrols in international waters even after the Chinese navy repeatedly warned a US surveillance plane to leave the airspace over artificial islands China is creating in the disputed South China Sea. The Philippine government also declared it would continue activities in the region, calling on China to respect freedom of navigation and aviation. “Our position on the importance of letting freedom of navigation, freedom of aviation and …

  • MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned
    MM shutdown eyed for quake drill; 6 schools warned

    Electricity and mobile phone services would be cut throughout Metro Manila, and all private and government offices and businesses, including shopping malls, would be closed. That would be the situation on July 16 between 3 and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur and kill at least 33,500 people and injure at least 113,600 others following a …

  • Subaru XV now priced among sedans
    Subaru XV now priced among sedans

    Motor Image Philipinas (MIP), the authorized distributor of Subaru in the country, has positioned its brand new crossover SUV, the Subaru XV, well within the sedan segment’s price range. This move, according to MIP, was made to give the public an opportunity to experience the brand’s unique automotive technologies by lowering its price. Buyers of […] The post Subaru XV now priced among sedans appeared first on Carmudi Philippines. …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options