MANILA - The Office of the Ombudsman filed on Monday graft charges against Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr. who were earlier slapped with plunder charges over their alleged involvement in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
The Ombudsman's Office of the Special Prosecutor filed 15 counts of violation of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act against Enrile, 16 on Revilla and 11 counts on Estrada for allegedly pocketing public funds through kickbacks and/or commissions in the amounts of more than P172-million, P242-million and P183-million, respectively.
The three lawmakers allegedly channeled hundreds of millions of pesos of their PDAF allocations to fake non-government organizations created and controlled by suspected pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles for the implementation of ghost projects.
Last Friday, plunder charges were filed before the Sandiganbayan against the senators as well as on Enrile's former chief of staff Jessica "Gigi" Reyes, Napoles and other personalities involved in the scam.
Revilla and his former staff Richard Cambe last Saturday filed two motions before the Sandiganbayan, which are a motion for judicial determination of probable cause and deferment or suspension of proceedings and a motion for suspension based on existence of prejudicial question.
The Sandiganbayan is reportedly awaiting the Supreme Court's (SC) decision following the request of Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales to the High Court to create special divisions that will handle the continuous trial of the PDAF-related cases.
Morales has created a special prosecution panel composed of three teams that will handle the first set of criminal cases filed. (Sunnex)