Drilon on pork: We'll hold ourselves accountable

Senate President Franklin Drilon assured the public that the upper chamber will hold its members implicated in the pork barrel scam accountable depending on how the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's own investigation goes.

"It is time for the Senate to conduct public hearings, in aid of legislation, on the utilization of the PDAF [Priority Development Appropriation Fund]," Drilon said on Wednesday.

He noted that the Senate decided to conduct its own inquiry after the Commission on Audit (COA) completed its report on the PDAF from 2007 to 2009. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have their own investigations, too.

"We heard the people's loud clamor for accountability from us and they will not be denied. We will hold ourselves accountable," he said, adding that the investigation will help the senators to review the need to fund the PDAF for the following years.

The investigation could also lead to a recommendation for the Senate to adopt stricter guidelines in the disbursement of pork barrel in the future, he said.

Several lawmakers, including senators, have been dragged to the P10-B pork scam which was allegedly perpetrated by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

Based on COA report released last week, at least P6.156 billion funds were transferred to 82 allegedly bogus non-government organizations from 2007 to 2009. Ten NGOs linked to Napoles, who is now a fugitive facing serious illegal detention case, reportedly received pork barrel funds.

Senator Teofisto Guingona, III, head of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee earlier said that the preliminary findings of the investigations of NBI, DOJ, and COA are sufficient enough to initiate its own inquiry.

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