Ombudsman receives death threat over ‘pork’ probe-A A +A
Friday, August 30, 2013
(2ND UPDATE) -- Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales on Friday received a death threat supposedly in connection with the probe of the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAAGCC) over the misuse of pork barrel funds.
At the sidelines of the budget hearing conducted by the House committee on appropriations, Morales said an unidentified person phoned her office around 1 p.m.
"I did not ask my secretary to put in writing the exact words of the caller. Pero ang sabi daw niya ay 'mag-ingat siya kung kailangan tama ginagawa niya'. Well excuse me, I'd like to believe that what I've been doing is in accordance with what is right and in accordance with the facts vis-a-vis the law applicable to the facts," she told reporters.
When the call was made, Morales was in a speaking engagement at the Public Governance Forum organized by the Asian Development Bank.
"That's what I heard. It had to with the PDAF so sinabi ko sinong tinakot nila? Excuse me, sila ang dapat matakot," she said.
The number used to phone her office is already being validated by the intelligence section of Malacanang, Morales said, as she shunned the need for an additional security.
The Ombudsman leads the IAAGCC, with the Department of Justice and the Commission on Audit (COA) as members.
The COA special audit report indicating misuse of billions of pork barrel funds from 2007 to 2009 will be used as a reference by the IAAGCC.
Morales said lawmakers implicated in the COA report and in newspaper reports who supposedly abused pork barrel funds will not be subjected to an investigation until "we are firm in our findings."
Morales said they consider as "hearsay" the newspaper reports implicating lawmakers.
Addressing the concern of opposition lawmakers that the surrender of businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles will give the administration a weapon on its "selective persecution," Morales said, "The fact of being an ally or not an ally and I don't know who the allies are and who are not will not be factored in the investigation of the case. Sorry na lang kung it turns out na allies."
Morales was appointed by President Benigno Aquino III in July of 2011 after former Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez resigned from her post pending a Senate impeachment trial.
Morales doubts that Napoles being in the custody of the police after two weeks of hiding will speed up the probe of the inter-agency committee.
"The case of the probe will on its natural course. It's not dependent on Napoles," she said.
Napoles was ordered arrested by a Makati City court over illegal detention charges filed by her cousin Benhur Luy, who blew the whistle on the multi-billion pork barrel scam.
"The only charge now is the illegal detention and until we get a report and recommendation of the NBI, everything’s on hold. But in the meantime, we are conducting our own independent investigation," she said.
The IAAGCC is set to meet next week, Morales said refusing to disclose the details of their agenda. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)