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Palace eyes recovery of stolen ‘pork’

The Senate pork barrel scam probe was suspended on Tuesday (Sept. 24, 2013) after Blue Ribbon Committee Chair, Sen. Teofisto Guingona III (left) expressed disappointment on Justice Secretary Leila De Lima for not bringing whistleblowers to testify at the hearing. (MNS photo)

The Senate pork barrel scam probe was suspended on Tuesday (Sept. 24, 2013) after Blue Ribbon Committee Chair, Sen. Teofisto Guingona III (left) expressed disappointment on Justice Secretary Leila De Lima for not bringing whistleblowers to testify at the hearing. (MNS photo)

MANILA (Mabuhay) — Malacañang said it is part of the objective of the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAAGCC) to recover the unexplained wealth or illegally obtained assets of “everybody” involved in the pork barrel scam including lawmakers.

“For everybody who is involved in these cases,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said when asked if government will also work on recovering illegal assets of lawmakers involved in the scam.

“There is already a process laid down by law on how to identify properties when it comes to asset recovery,” she added.

At least 38 individuals including 3 senators are facing plunder, graft and malversation charges in connection with the P10 billion pork barrel scam. The officials are accused of conniving with businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles to funnel billions of pesos in priority development assistance funds to fake non-government organizations.

Meanwhile, Valte debunked claims that the administration are singling out the Estradas in view of the filing of a case against Senator Jinggoy Estrada and the disqualification of ER Ejercito.

Estrada is one of the 3 senators facing plunder raps for his alleged involvement in the scam. Ejercito, meanwhile, was disqualified by the Commission on Elections First Division for violating the election spending cap for the May elections.

“I can only answer as far as ‘yung mga PDAF investigations are concerned. Again, they are not being singled out. Nandun po sa COA report ‘yung basehan pati po doon sa mga testimonya noong mga whistleblowers yung mga taong nakasuhan po or sinampahan po ng kaso ng DOJ,” Valte said,

She added: “I will defer to the Comelec on the matter of the disqualification of one of its divisions of Governor Ejercito.” (MNS)

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