Napoles tags 3 lawmakers, ex-budget chief in PDAF scam

ALLEGED "pork barrel queen" Janet Lim-Napoles has tagged Senators Franklin Drilon, Antonio Trillanes IV, Leila de Lima and former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam, according to the revelation of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

Aguirre on Monday said Napoles' lawyer Stephen David informed him that Napoles will soon file charges against the said officials in the Department of Justice (DOJ) for their alleged participation in the corruption scheme.

"Ang mga nabanggit niyang personalities noong nakaraang administrasyon ay sina Secretary Abad, parang kasama rin si Senator Trillanes, Senator De Lima at [Senator] Drilon," Aguirre said.

Aguirre earlier said that they are planning to conduct a fresh probe in the case and that they are considering turning Napoles into a state witness to implicate more officials involved.

The idea came out after the Court of Appeals (CA) acquitted Napoles from her serious illegal detention case that stemmed from the kidnapping of her former aide and PDAF whistleblower Benhur Luy.

The justice secretary assured that this will not affect other graft and plunder cases filed against Napoles with the Sandiganbayan in relation to the misuse of lawmakers' fund.

Billions were defrauded from the government through the PDAF of lawmakers that allegedly went to Napoles' bogus non-government organizations and to the pockets of corrupt politicians.

The proposal to place Napoles on the witness stand was met by opposition from Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, whose office earlier found probable cause to indict Napoles of the said crimes.

Politicians indicted for the same charges are former Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile.

Estrada and Revilla are both detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center while Enrile is out of detention after the Supreme Court allowed him to post bail for a non-bailable case in August 2015. (SunStar Philippines)
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