4th Senate hearing on pork barrel scam set next week-A A +A
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
The Senate blue ribbon committee will continue looking into the pork barrel scam even after some lawmakers allegedly linked to the corruption of public funds were already facing cases before the Office of the Ombudsman.
The fourth hearing was set on September 24 (Tuesday), said committee chair Senator Teofisto Guingona III in a statement on Wednesday.
Invited to the hearing were whistleblowers led by Benhur Luy, who detailed last week how the pork barrel allocation of some legislators went to their pockets through fake non-government organizations (NGOs) allegedly ran by his former boss, Janet Napoles.
Thirty-eight individuals were charged because of the scam including Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. for plunder. The three denied wrongdoing as they promised to refute the allegations at the proper time and venue.
Speaking to reporters in Leyte, Vice President Jejomar Binay said the next batch of cases should not focus on the opposition.
“Sana wag naman para di manatili ang bintang o speculation na ang tinatarget ay opposition,” Binay said when asked if sees the DOJ going after the political foes of the Aquino administration.
Estrada and Enrile are Binay's comrades in the United Nationalist Alliance (UNA), a coalition which failed to match the dominance of the administration-backed Team PNoy in last May's senatorial elections.
Revilla is part of the majority bloc in the Senate despite being the head of the Lakas-CMD party, which ruled the country for nearly a decade under then President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Arroyo, currently detained on plunder charges, is the political nemesis of President Benigno Aquino III. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)