Aquino vows to punish people behind pork barrel scam-A A +A
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
WHILE investigation is still ongoing on the alleged P10-billion pork barrel fund scam, President Benigno Aquino III acknowledged Wednesday that there were really people who pocketed the priority development assistance fund (PDAF).
Aquino, who expressed his disgust over the alleged corruption, vowed that this kind of anomaly would no longer be repeated by ensuring penalties for those who would be found guilty.
"There were really people who really took advantage (of the pork barrel). They pocketed the fund. They did not even try to share it with those in need. Who won't be disgusted on that?" he said in an interview in Mandaluyong City where he distributed relief goods to the families displaced by flooding.
If those allegedly involved in pocketing the PDAF only shared the money to the poor, the suffering of the Filipinos could have lessened, he said.
"What is important for us is to punish the guilty (people) and to ensure, number one, you have an example; number two, no one will do or try to repeat these kinds (of irregularities)," Aquino said.
While he should really be mad of these alleged illegal activities, as a President, he said he could not act based on anger, but he should act based on what is always right.
There were growing calls for Aquino to abolish the PDAF of the lawmakers amid this controversy. But Aquino has maintained his position to retain the pork barrel, saying that there were lawmakers who were properly using their PDAF.
A report by the Commission on Audit showed that a number of senators and congressmen allegedly misused their pork barrel funds from 2007 to 2009 by placing them to questionable non-government organizations, including those put up by fugitive Janet Lim-Napoles, who was dragged into the P10-billion fund mess and is now being investigated by the NBI.
"I listen to various opinions. Of course, we want the system to be perfect. Let us all be reminded that all of these happened during the previous administration which has different rules from us," he said.
Asked how many lawmakers will be charged due to alleged PDAF misuse, Aquino said there is a "long list" as he refused to divulge the names because "I wanted to be precise."
The Chief Executive said that he would only announce the list of those who would be charged once the cases were filed to avoid trial by publicity. (SDR/Sunnex)