Haresco on SARO scam: I'm the victim here

Posted at 02/11/2014 6:22 PM | Updated as of 02/11/2014 10:59 PM

MANILA - Congressman Teodorico Haresco wants the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to reinvestigate the case of the fake Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) after he was recommended for possible criminal prosecution before the Department of Justice.

"I'm flabbergasted… We were the ones who complained to the NBI. Amongst other congressmen I don't know why I'm the one being singled out. The function of SAROs is an executive function. The SARO doesn't give anything to legislators. I don't even know the full name of the SARO. I'm the victim here. A SARO is just a notice," he told reporters.

Haresco said his office has been coordinating with the NBI over its investigation on the fake SAROs scam, noting that his staff went to the agency 2-3 times.

He said that out of 32 possible lawmakers being linked to the scam, only he has been singled out to face charges.

The congressman said it is impossible for his office to facilitate the fake SAROs since three out of his staff of 5 are working students.

"How can it be that my office be the originator of fake SAROs when we have no capability at all. We have an idea. We don't know code number or signatories. It is a gargantuan operation to know what are the signs and countersigns," he said.

"What is not normal here is this accusation that our office was involved in falsification of public documents."

Haresco maintained that the SARO for P10 million that was allegedly falsified covers a legitimate project. He said a similar SARO with the same amount and same code number for the same project was issued in January this year.

The allegedly falsified SARO was issued October 2013.

"I was informed by my staff another genuine SARO with same serial number came out January 19. Yun isa October, isa January. Same amount. The October is a fake one. The January is genuine," he said.

Haresco said the January 19 SARO was authenticated by the regional office. He showed media both the October and January SAROs.