No filing of plunder raps on pork barrel scam this week-A A +A
Tuesday, September 3, 2013
PLUNDER cases against businesswoman Janet Napoles and some lawmakers will not be filed with the Office of the Ombudsman this week due to the resignation of the head of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and preparation of documentary evidence.
De Lima said Tuesday the team of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) handling the investigation was demoralized after losing Director Nonnatus Rojas, who quit from his post on Monday due to President Benigno Aquino III's issues with two officials who allegedly aided Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim evade arrest for serious illegal detention case.
But de Lima said she instructed the team leader to continue with their task as the public has been anticipating formal charges against those involved in the misuse of priority development assistance fund (PDAF).
The Justice chief said in previous interviews that the cases will reach the Ombudsman, which will conduct preliminary investigation before bringing the information to court, in one or two weeks.
"Marami na silang nakuha (documents from Commission on Audit), pero inaayos pa rin para comprehensive at malinaw ang pagkaka-outline at lay down ng kaso lalo na the theory of the case, the facts of the case and the actual charge," she told reporters.
Unlike previous investigations assigned to the NBI, the cases related to the pork barrel scam will not be reviewed by the President. He will only be notified about the planned filing, de Lima said.
Succeeding cases will be taken care of by the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAGGCC) which is composed of eight agencies including the NBI, DOJ and the Ombudsman.
Rojas has been on top of de Lima's mind as she promised to convince him to recall his resignation especially that the NBI is busy preparing cases against those who siphoned public funds.
"Never say die," she said, adding the President is also not inclined to accept Rojas' resignation.
"Without explicitly saying so, alam nya (Aquino) na makakaapekto ito sa ongoing investigation na biglang mawawala yung pinaka-leader ng institution," said de Lima.
Also on Tuesday, de Lima said three or four Rojas deputies have "trust and integrity issues." She refused to divulge the identities but Deputy Director for Regional Services Virgilio Mendez isn't one of them.
Mendez was part of the team that investigated the shooting incidents in Atimonan, Quezon and Balintang Channel and the standoff between Malaysian forces and elements from the Sultanate of Sulu which is trying to reclaim Sabah.
De Lima clarified that the officials are not involved in the pork barrel scam.
"Consistent ang mga pangalan na naririnig ko pero walang ebidensya," said de Lima, who is looking at asking the alleged erring deputy directors to submit their courtesy resignation or recommending other people to replace them as they are not career executives.
De Lima said NBI Deputy Director for Administrative Services Edmundo Arugay offered his resignation, which will take effect on September 14 or after his return from official mission abroad.
The other deputies are Rickson Chiong (technical services) Reynaldo Esmeralda (intelligence services), Ruel Lasala (special investigation services) and Rafael Ragos (comptroller services). (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)