SC blocks attempt to stop pork barrel scam probe

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

INVESTIGATORS from the Office of the Ombudsman will still continue to evaluate the complaints related to the alleged pork barrel scam after the Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday junked a bid to stop the process.

SC spokesperson Theodore Te said the petition for prohibition to stop the preliminary investigation into the plunder charges against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. was denied for lack of merit.

"The Court dismissed the petition for lack of merit and for failing to show grave abuse of discretion on the part of respondents (Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, National Bureau of Investigation Assistant Director Medardo de Lemos) that would merit the reliefs prayed for," the Court said.

The petition was filed by former Technology Resource Center (TRC) Director General Antonio Ortiz, a co-respondent of the three senators who were earlier ordered by the Ombudsman to answer the complaints against them.

According to the complaints, the lawmakers allegedly channeled their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to fake foundations of businesswoman Janet Napoles in connivance with heads and employees of implementing agencies such as TRC.

In exchange, the lawmakers, their chiefs of staff and officials in the implementing agencies got kickbacks from non-existent projects of these bogus organizations.

Ortiz, who has since left the country, was also included in the second batch of PDAF cases involving outgoing Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon and 33 others. (Sunnex)

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