COA report on pork barrel to impact NBI probe on fund scam: Palace-A A +A
Saturday, August 17, 2013
MALACANANG said Saturday that the findings of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel funds of the lawmakers from 2007 to 2009 would have an impact on the investigation being undertaken by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on the alleged P10-billion fund scam.
In an interview over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan, deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte admitted that COA Chair Grace Pulido-Tan furnished President Benigno Aquino III of an advance copy of her report.
But the Chief Executive has yet to make a comment on the report, she said.
Asked why Tan had to provide Aquino an advance copy of the report, Valte said that it would be better to ask COA on its procedure.
However, she added that there were really some agencies outside of the executive, which normally provide copy of reports to the Office of the President.
She also said that Tan also gave copies of report to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and to the Office of the Ombudsman.
"(T)hese findings, as they have also been given to the Secretary of Justice, inevitably, will have an impact on the NBI investigation. That could be used and looked into by our investigating team," Valte said.
Aquino earlier ordered the NBI to conduct an investigation on the alleged P10-billion pork barrel and Malampaya fund scam involving Janet Lim-Napoles, who was allegedly behind the creation of bogus non-government organizations (NGOs), which were beneficiaries of the funds.
Valte also said that it would be up to the Office of the Ombudsman to take any action on the COA findings.
"We will defer to the Office of the Ombudsman on any action that, in its judgment, it should take in the wake of the findings of the Commission on Audit," she said.
COA report found that at least 12 senators and 180 congressmen earmarked their P6-billion pork barrel funds to 82 questionable NGOs, including those allegedly formed by Napoles, from 2007 to 2009.
Asked why Tan only included in her press conference the PDAF during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Valte said that the reports on pork barrel funds from 2010 to 2011 under the current administration were posted on the COA website.
"It is all there so let's just look into their different audit observations for those years in question," she said. (SDR/Sunnex)