Ateneo, DLSU, Miriam, UP condemn 'pork funds' misuse

Posted at 02/12/14 12:44 PM

MANILA - The presidents of four top Philippine universities and colleges again condemned the alleged misuse of taxpayers' money in the P10 billion pork barrel scam following the new revelations made by former Palace aide Ruby Tuason.

In a joint statement, the presidents of Ateneo de Manila University, De La Salle University, Miriam College and University of the Philippines again restated their condemnation of misuse of public funds by "unscrupulous government officials and their associates."

The academic leaders renewed their call for mobilization and participation in activities that will promote greater
transparency and accountability in the country.

The group also called on academic communities and the rest of Philippine society "to take a keen interest in, and to patriotically support, the emergence of the truth and the requisite acts of justice and reparation that must follow from the truth."

This is after former Estrada social secretary Ruby Tuason shed new light on the allegations in the pork barrel scam.

"We ask the institutions tasked by law to ensure transparency and accountability in public service to expedite their investigations of the Napoles-related abuse of public funds and all other such cases of thievery in public service. We insist that the appropriate cases against public officials involved in corruption and
plunder be filed and prosecuted with the dispatch due not only the accused and the respondents but the
aggrieved and victimized nation even more," the group said.

The statement was signed by Presidents Jose Ramon T. Villarin, SJ, of Ateneo de Manila University; Bro. Ricardo P. Laguda, FSC, of De La Salle University; Rosario O. Lapus PhD, of Miriam College; and Alfredo E. Pascual of University of the Philippines.

Tuason, an accused in the P10 billion pork barrel scam, returned to the Philippines last Friday and offered to turn state witness and return some P40 million to the government in exchange for immunity.

In her affidavit, Tuason confirmed that she personally delivered kickbacks to Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile from businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles. Both Estrada and Enrile have denied Tuason's claims.

Estrada and Enrile are among several individuals facing a plunder complaint before the Office of the Ombudsman for the scam.