Lacson: Santiago misused pork barrel by constructing cockpit-A A +A
Friday, February 15, 2013
SENATOR Panfilo Lacson is gathering more evidence to pin down Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago for alleged misdeeds.
In an interview on Thursday, Lacson said he discovered that Santiago channeled money from her P200-million priority development assistance fund (PDAF) to construct a cockpit arena in Pasig City under the guise of a sports complex.
"If there's basis then I shall refer this to the Office of the Ombudsman," he said.
This is on top of Lacson's accusation that Santiago is using Senate funds for paying maids, groceries and rent of her private building. Santiago earlier said that the Senate secretariat gave her the green light to rent a satellite office, which is owned by her family.
Lacson said he already forwarded documents to the Ombudsman pertaining to Santiago's supposed unlawful decision to use public funds to rent the building for her staff.
These include declaration of ownership of the building in her Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth (SALN) and papers from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
"Perhaps she should just wait for the summons (from the Ombudsman) and most likely, warrant of arrest," he said.
Santiago, who criticized Lacson for defending Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on the distribution of additional funds to some senators late last year, will leave her post at an unspecified date to sit as judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC) based in The Netherlands.
But Lacson said he will inquire with the ICC if Santiago has the right to be called to duty despite having a pending criminal case for graft.
That is, if the Ombudsman finds probable cause to file charges against Santiago before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)