MANILA (Mabuhay) – Whether in jail or free, congressmen who are linked to the pork barrel scam will still get their salaries and full benefits.
Speaker Sonny Belmonte said the House of Representatives does not have rules that automatically suspend congressmen who are charged with plunder.
He pointed out that Senator Antonio Trillanes received his salary and full benefits even while in jail for rebellion charges.
Belmonte said lawmakers linked to the pork barrel scam of Janet Lim Napoles will remain members of the Lower House even if they are arrested, as long as they are not convicted.
Congressmen who are accused of plunder but are allowed to post bail can return to the chamber and continue with their duties, he said.
Napoles earlier listed down the names of 100 congressmen who allegedly had transactions with her in the pork barrel scam. Many of the lawmakers have denied the allegations, saying they do not know the businesswoman.
Napoles is accused of conniving with government officials and lawmakers to funnel billions of pesos in priority development assistance funds to her NGOs. (MNS)