De Lima: Malampaya scam cases filed in 2 weeks-A A +A
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
AFTER the first batch of charges over the pork barrel scam was filed before the Office of the Ombudsman, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the next batch of respondents include those who allegedly misused P900 million in Malampaya gas funds.
On the sidelines of the House plenary hearing on the budget of Department of Justice (DOJ), De Lima said they will file charges against those involved in the diversion of Malampaya funds intended for victims of storms Ondoy and Pepeng to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs).
"Hopefully, in the next two weeks, (we will be able to file charges) in connection with the Malampaya. That is almost over although the documents are also voluminous but not as voluminous as PDAF," de Lima said.
"The coverage of the Malampaya case will be the NBI probe on the Napoles component of P900 million," she added.
De Lima meanwhile said the second batch of respondents in connection with the misuse of priority development assistance funds (PDAF) will be charged after the batch of those accused in the Malampaya case.
"I don't think there will only be two batches. There might be more. I cannot say yet because that depends on how many we complete in a batch," she said.
De Lima said they filed the charges by batches to let the Ombudsman start its own evaluation of the thousands of documents submitted before it.
On Monday, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. were charged with plunder for conniving with detained businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles to pocket pork barrel funds.
Also charged were several congressmen, Napoles, the staff of the lawmakers concerned, heads of several agencies and presidents of questionable NGOs.
De Lima said she will not comment further on the pork barrel scam cases in deference to the directive of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.
"The NBI/DOJ shall henceforth refrain from making further comments or discussions into the merits of these Napoles/PDAF cases," she said in a text message.
The Ombudsman also junked requests for interview, as information that may be disclosed will prejudice the probe "insofar as alerting the custodians of vital documents and undermining the security of possible witnesses."(Kathrina Alvarez/Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)