House probe of P10-B ‘pork’ scam pressed

Manila, Philippines -- Despite the hands off stance of the House leadership and the Senate on the P10-billion pork barrel scam, the House Minority bloc sought the investigation of the alleged misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in the past 10 years, citing the "magnitude and the destructive effects" of the issue to the Congress as an institution.

The group, led by House Minority Leader and San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora, filed late Monday House Resolution No. 160 asking the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability and Committee on Ethics and Privileges to conduct a joint inquiry "on the criminal plunder involving the alleged misuse of the P10-billion PDAF by a network of bogus non-government organizations allegedly operated by Janette Lim Napoles."

"The magnitude and the destructive effects of the PDAF scam must not be swept into oblivion, as the issue is destroying the trust that members of the Philippine Congress should enjoy from the people they represent," the resolution, signed by 18 solons said.

They said the alleged involvement of officials from the Department of Budget and Management, Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform and other agencies in the processing of the PDAF for approval and release of funds, which end up in the private accounts of Napoles should be investigated.

Apart from Zamora, the authors of resolution include Representatives Rodolfo Albano III, Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, Lino Cayetano, Neri Colmenares, Emmi de Jesus, Florencio Flores Jr., Ana Cristina Go, Fernando Hicap, Luz Ilagan, Seth Jalosjos, Carol Jayne Lopez, Leah Paquiz, James Mark Ridon, Jose Tejada, Antonio Tinio, Arnel Ty, and Carlos Zarate.

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