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De Lima: 3rd batch of pork scam cases ready

Posted On 2014 Apr 07
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Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, poses questions to Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged pork barrel scam mastermind during the hearing on Thursday (Nov. 7, 2013) at the Senate building in Pasay City. (MNS photo)

Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, poses questions to Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged pork barrel scam mastermind during the hearing on Thursday (Nov. 7, 2013) at the Senate building in Pasay City. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is ready to file two new sets of pork barrel scam complaints, according to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima.

De Lima said it now only a matter of deciding which one to file first.

One of these cases is related to the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam, or the so-called 3rd batch, she said.

She said alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, lawmakers and implementing agencies will be included as respondents.

She said new personalities will also be included.

De Lima, however, refused to identify them nor say how many will be included in the new set of cases.

She also refused to confirm if Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. will also be charged in the 3rd batch.

The pork barrel scam involved the funneling of lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations to ghost projects of non-government organizations (NGOs) set up by Napoles.

The lawmakers, in return, allegedly received huge kickbacks from the businesswoman.

Meanwhile, de Lima said said she is not at liberty to disclose the strategy of the AMLC as far as the freezing of assets of senators accused of plunder and graft are concerned, but told reporters, “suffice it to tell you that AMLC is working on these.”

De Lima stressed that forfeiture and asset recovery is an “integral part” of exacting justice in corruption cases, and is the fifth mandate of the Inter-Agency Graft Coordinating Council (IAGCC).

The Office of the Ombudsman earlier recommended the filing of plunder and graft charges against the three senators and other personalities tagged in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) “scam,” one of the biggest corruption scandals in Philippine history.

Enrile, Revilla, and Estrada were found to have amassed P172 million, P242 million, and P183 million, respectively, from illegal kickbacks, according to the Ombudsman.

Seven others will also be charged, including businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, who is at the center of the corruption scandal involving “pork barrel” funds channeled to fictitious non-government organizations (NGOs).

The Manila Regional Trial Court has already issued an Asset Preservation Order (APO) on the bank accounts, money instruments, motor vehicles, real properties and other assets of Napoles, members of her family, several whistleblowers in the pork barrel scam, and others.

The APO indefinitely prohibits the “transaction, transfer, removal, conversion, concealment or other disposition” of the accounts, assets and properties subject of a petition for forfeiture of assets filed by the AMLC. (MNS)

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