Pork barrel scam: Santiago wants co-Senators to go on leave

The five senators implicated in an alleged billion-peso pork barrel scam should go on leave pending the results of a probe, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said.
 
This, as she urged President Benigno Aquino III to form an independent panel to look into a P10-billion expose involving the use of Priority Development Assistance Funds.
 
“Out of delicadeza, the five senators should go on leave, to erase any doubt that they might use their power or their money to pressure the investigators,” Santiago said.
 
She was referring to Senators Bong Revilla, Jr., Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Bongbong Marcos and Gregorio Honasan who have been linked to ghost projects.

At the same time, solons whose names have been dragged into the controversy have meanwhile vowed to subject themselves to investigations, even as they denied the allegations.
 
“I submit myself to a full investigation of all my PDAF allocations,” Enrile said, noting however that he has no ties with whistleblower Janet Lim Napoles.
 
“This issue should really be investigated,” Revilla meanwhile said, while saying that his PDAF is allocated according to government rules and regulations.
 
He however called the controversy a “demolition job” aimed at pulling down the opposition “especially those who enjoy the popular support of our people.”
 
While also opening himself to a probe, Marcos said: “I am also exploring the possibility that there may be a political angle to all this in light of the upcoming Presidential elections in 2016.”
 
Investigative reports recently published by the Philippine Daily Inquirer said the senators allocated funds to dummy non-government organizations.
 
Miriam said a prosecution panel “composed of three people who are beyond the reach of politicians” should handle the case to ensure independence.
 
Attempts to bring the issue to any other venue would be futile, she said, noting that senators are beyond the jurisdiction of the Ombudsman, and may influence the Justice Secretary.
 
Taking the matter before the Senate ethics committee may also be in vain, Santiago said, noting that “senators are loath to investigate their fellow senators.”
 
Santiago’s colleagues aren’t shrugging their shoulders either, but were split as to whether or not they should conduct their own probe into an alleged pork barrel scam.
 
Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero pushed the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to launch a full-blown investigation on the controversy attributed to a Senate “old boys club.”
 
“Accountability and transparency in government dictates that this report must be quizzically looked into,” said Escudero said.
 
For his part,  Senator Franklin Drilon, who is poised for the Senate Presidency, said an investigation is better left at the hands of the Justice department.
 
“Hindi po natin pwedeng imbestigahan ang ating mga sarili (We cannot investigate ourselves),” Drilon said, noting that results of an internal probe will surely be questioned by the public.
 
Drilon said he is confident Justice chief Leila De Lima, who has yet to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments composed partly of senators, will remain independent.
 
“I have confidence to Sec. De Lima. Even if she is not confirmed, she continues to hold office and what is more critical to me is the confidence of the President,” Drilon said.
 

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.

  • ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’
    ‘Inland areas could be exposed to tsunami-like waves’

    While strong earthquakes cause tsunamis in coastal areas, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) warned that inland areas could also be exposed to tsunami-like waves, or seiche, if located near or around bodies of water. In a recent earthquake awareness seminar in Muntinlupa, Phivolcs supervising science research specialist Joan Salcedo explained that a seiche is a large wave similar to a tsunami, triggered by strong ground shaking from an earthquake or volcanic …

  • China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations
    China gives ‘gentle reminder’ to Phl, warns small nations

    China gave the Philippines a “gentle reminder” last Tuesday that Beijing will not bully small countries but warned these nations not to make trouble willfully and endlessly. “Here is a gentle reminder to the Philippines: China will not bully small countries, meanwhile, small countries shall not make trouble willfully and endlessly. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also said that China would continue to build other civilian facilities on relevant maritime features in the disputed Spratly Islands …

  • Back-channel diplomacy pushed for Phl-China dispute
    Back-channel diplomacy pushed for Phl-China dispute

    The Philippines should consider backchannel diplomacy to prevent its territorial dispute with China from deteriorating further, Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. said yesterday. There are a lot of Filipino businessmen with businesses in China and they have friends and connections there. Let’s utilize that, ask them to talk to their friends on how we can resolve this matter peacefully,” Marcos said. …

  • Phl, Japan to deepen ties amid China sea claims
    Phl, Japan to deepen ties amid China sea claims

    Japan and the Philippines are set to bolster security ties when President Benigno Aquino visits Tokyo next week, the latest move by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to beef up cooperation with Southeast Asian nations facing China’s growing naval ambitions. The two sides will likely agree to start talks on a framework for the transfer of defense equipment and technology and to discuss a possible pact on the status of Japanese military personnel visiting the Philippines to facilitate joint training and …

  • Phl, Vietnam troops play soccer on disputed isle
    Phl, Vietnam troops play soccer on disputed isle

    Vietnamese and Philippine troops played soccer and sang karaoke on a South China Sea island yesterday in a sign of the growing security ties between the two Southeast Asian nations most at odds with Beijing over the contested waterway. Cooperation has blossomed between Hanoi and Manila since they shelved decades of enmity over their competing claims in the Spratly archipelago to try to counter China, whose creation of artificial islands in the region will allow it to project power deep into …

  • Noy swears in 50 newly appointed AFP officers
    Noy swears in 50 newly appointed AFP officers

    President Aquino administered yesterday the oath taking of 50 newly appointed generals and officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in a simple ceremony at the Rizal Hall of Malacañang Palace. …

  • Taiwan’s peace call on claimants of disputed territories welcomed
    Taiwan’s peace call on claimants of disputed territories welcomed

    The US on Tuesday welcomed Taiwan’s call on all claimants to disputed shoals, reefs, rocks and islets in the South China Sea and West Philippine Sea to exercise restraint, refrain from unilateral actions that could escalate tensions, as well as to respect international law as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. “With regard to the maritime claims and the claims to sovereignty over land features in the South China Sea, our position is that maritime claims must …

  • Metro-wide quake drill set on July 30
    Metro-wide quake drill set on July 30

    A metro-wide earthquake drill will be held on July 30 as part of the government’s preparations for a possible 7.2 magnitude tremor, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) said yesterday. All private and government offices as well as businesses, including shopping malls would be closed between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. to simulate the scenario of a 7.2 magnitude earthquake. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has warned that an earthquake of that magnitude could occur …

POLL

Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Loading...
Poll Choice Options