De Lima: DOJ yet to probe Abad, Alcala

Posted at 06/26/14 11:45 PM

MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has yet to launch a formal investigation into the alleged involvement of Budget Secretary Butch Abad and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala in the pork barrel fund scam, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Thursday.

She said the DOJ is still vetting the list and affidavits of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.

Napoles listed Abad and Alcala as among those who allegedly benefited from the scam to siphon lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Funds into kickbacks from bogus projects.

Abad is being accused as Napoles' "mentor" who allegedly taught the businesswoman how to perpetrate the scam.

“Vetting, not being swept under the rug," de Lima said. "As to whether or not we’re formally investigating them, that would be premature in the sense dine-determine muna namin anong category sila."

De Lima assured the public she has no problems going after her own colleagues.

“No, I don’t have a problem with that. I try to fulfill the mandate of our department,” she said.

De Lima said Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Joel Villanueva is part of the PDAF cases. "Iyung kay Secretary Joel Villanueva, kasama siya sa ongoing fact-finding, kasama siya sa 2007-2009 COA report. Iyung kay Secretary Butch Abad at Secretary Alcala, they are in the list of Napoles."

She said other personalities are covered by cases now undergoing various stages of investigation by the Ombudsman. The third batch of PDAF cases is being reviewed by de Lima before being filed at the Ombudsman.

“Kapag tina-trabaho namin ito, kapag nag-iimbestiga kami, 'di namin kino-consider ano political affiliation," she said.