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.


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.

  • Sandiganbayan allows Sen. Jinggoy to have his aching shoulder checked

    The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division has given permission to Senator Jinggoy Ejercito Estrada to leave detention and have his aching shoulder checked at a private hospital yesterday. "After taking into account the arguments of both parties and for humanitarian considerations, the Court resolves to grant accused-movant's prayer over the objection of the prosecution," read the Fifth Division's resolution that was issued yesterday and signed by its Chairman Roland Jurado and Associate Justices Efren …

  • Financing lack cause of slow e-vehicle program implementation

    The Electric Vehicle Association of the Philippines (EVAP) has blamed the lack of financing for the slow implementation of the environment friendly e-vehicle program in the country. EVAP President Rommel Juan said that EVs are now available all over the Philippines because of the various  private and some local government units programs on the use of e-vehicles. We need funders, financing people or angel investors to come in and tie up with credible and reliable EV players to finally catapult …

  • Exhibit recalls Christ’s passion and death

    Now ongoing at the Palo Municipal Hall grounds is an exhibit of photographs on the passion and death of Jesus Christ. The exhibit which will run until April 6, is dubbed “Pamalandong Photo Exhibit 2015.”  It features old pictures taken during the traditional yearly re-enactment of Christ’s passion and death in the Archdiocese of Palo,  which is the center of Catholic hierarchy in Leyte and Samar. Palo Mayor Remedios L. Petilla opened the photo exhibit with Philippine Councilor League Leyte …

  • The Philippines, another Singapore?

    Bongbong Marcos makes the ludicrous claim that if his father Ferdinand hadn’t been deposed in 1986, we would now be another Singapore, prosperous and orderly. There was no way that turning the Philippines into another Singapore would be possible today, or in the 1980s. The world’s eyes are all on Singapore these days after the passing last week of that city-state’s founding prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew. As Singapore mourns Lee’s death, the world toasts him as a visionary who practically …

  • Armed men burn Philtranco buses in Tacloban

    Fully armed young men burned two Philtranco Bus Company buses in the Philtranco terminal in Barangay 91 Abucay midnight of March 31. Philippine National Police Eastern Visayas Regional Director Chief Supt. Asher A. Dolina has directed Tacloban City Police Director Senior Supt. Domingo Say Cabillan to conduct an immediate and thorough investigation into the burning of the two commercial passenger buses. Dolina said he wants the case probed to determine if the act is part of the usual …

  • Senate to look into Sajahatra program

    Lourdes “Nancy” Binay has asked the Senate to look into the government’s Sajahatra Bangsamoro Program (SBP) - a joint social protection agenda between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which was included in a comprehensive peace agreement entered into by the two parties. Binay noted that while the SBP’s goal was to uplift and develop the health, education, and livelihood conditions of Bangsamoro communities struggling against poverty and conflict, she has been …

  • Save up for Hajj thru Islamic bank’s plan

    To help pilgrims get to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, the Al-Amanah Islamic Investment Bank of the Philippines (AIIBP) has launched the first Pilgrimage Savings Plan (PSP) in the country. Local Muslims have long been studying Malaysia's widely-successful Tabung Haji savings program, and this was the first time a similar initiative was formally introduced in the Philippines. Idiosa B. Ursolino, AIIBP vice president, presented the PSP at a recent international conference on Islamic finance and banking …

  • 8th Commodores’ Cup Regatta set

    The Saturday Afternoon Gentlemen Sailing (SAGS) Club will stage the eighth Commodores’ Cup Regatta from April 7 to 9, the Philippine Sailing Association (PSA) announced the other day. The inshore races have the blessing of Asian Yachting Grand Prix and will be supported by The Lighthouse Marina Resort, Watercraft Ventures, Inc., Standard Insurance and the Department of Tourism. …


Should Aquino be held accountable over the Mamasapano operations?

Poll Choice Options