Palace steers clear of Ombudsman statements

Posted at 06/02/14 2:58 PM

MANILA - A Palace official steered clear of questions on the forthcoming decision of the Ombudsman in connection with the plunder and graft cases against three opposition senators.

The Ombudsman is expected to decide soon if it will send the pork barrel scam cases against Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla to the Sandiganbayan for trial.

Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda was asked during today’s briefing if Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales was being selective after she reportedly told a forum overseas that there is sufficient evidence against the three.

"It’s difficult for me to comment on that… So (it’s) better for the Ombudsman to answer… If there is probable cause against those respondents, we believe that the Ombudsman will not hesitate to file the necessary charges,” he said.

Lacierda also sidestepped a question on whether Makati Rep. Abigail Binay also used her pork barrel funds in the National Livelihood Development Corporation, one of the government agencies that allegedly served as a conduit to allow Janet Lim Napoles to siphon government funds towards bogus projects.

“If it’s found within the 2007-2009 Commission on Audit report, which is not related to the Napoles NGOs, they are now being looked into by the [Inter-agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council], which is comprised of the Secretary of Justice Leila de Lima, COA Chair Grace Tan, and Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales. So ano ang nangyayari ngayon? What is the update on that? They are still evaluating those—that part of the report which is not related to the Napoles NGOs,” he said.