De Lima: Biazon not inserted in pork scam cases

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

JUSTICE Secretary Leila de Lima has belied insinuations that outgoing Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon was only inserted in the second batch of complaints in relation to the alleged misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

De Lima explained that Biazon was included in the charge sheet due to the supplemental affidavit of whistleblower Benhur Luy, who accused the Customs chief of receiving P1.95 million as kickback for diverting his PDAF in 2007 to a bogus foundation controlled by businesswoman Janet Napoles.

She said the same affidavit detailed the commissions of other former lawmakers linked to the alleged scam.

They were Salacnib Baterina of Ilocos Sur (P7.5 million), Douglas Cagas of Davao del Sur (P9.3 million), Marc Douglas Cagas IV of Davao del Sur (P5.54 million), Arrel Olaño of Davao del Norte (P3.175 million), Rodolfo Valencia of Oriental Mindoro (P2.41 million) and Arthur Pingoy of South Cotabato (P7.055 million).

"Where did he (Biazon) get that (information)? Why would he say that?" de Lima said Tuesday, adding the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) also used supplemental affidavits to strengthen the charges against three senators and 35 other people last September.

The complaint surprised the Biazon family as its patriarch, Muntinlupa City Representative Rodolfo Biazon, said Monday that "something happened the night before the filing of charges" before the Office of the Ombudsman on November 29.

De Lima said President Benigno Aquino III was aware that Biazon was investigated for supposed irregularity in the use of PDAF. However, the President does not know when the charges will be pursued against the resigned Customs head.

She praised Biazon for letting go of his position, saying he showed a sense of propriety.

Biazon will end his two-year stint in the BOC, a revenue-generating agency hobbled by smuggling and corruption, on Friday. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)

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