Minority leader wants De Lima to name names
MANILA - Two solons reportedly implicated in the pork barrel scam maintained their consciences are clear and are ready to face a probe by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
House Appropriations Committee Chair Isidro Ungab and Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodrguez maintained their projects funded from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in their districts are above board.
Ungab said, as a former banker, he has proof that his projects and PDAF were properly spent, and he is ready to face the probe.
Ungab said he personally attended to the beneficiaries of his PDAF projects.
He, however, will not confront Justice Secretary Leila de Lima over the matter when the Department of Justice's (DOJ) budget is subjected to his committee's hearings.
Rodriguez maintained he only gave PDAF projects to government agencies, in this case, the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC).
Rodiguez said it is the TLRC that dealt with the group of Janet Lim Napoles.
Rodriguez said, based on Commission on Audit (COA) records, his signature and the signatures of the supposed beneficiaries were forged.
1BAP party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello said there is no need to pressure the NBI and DOJ to name names during the budget hearings. Lawmakers will be asked by the NBI to comment on their findings.
Bello also wants the NBI to furnish Congress with a copy of its investigation.
House Minority Leader Ronaldo Zamora, however, pointed out that until the DOJ names the lawmakers, everyone in Congress is a suspect.
News reports have linked 5 senators and 23 congressmen to the P10 billion pork barrel scam.
"First, I think you should ask Secretary de Lima to name names. It's difficult when we're working in a vacuum. I've heard that number 4-5 being talked about but it's hard when nobody wants to point out individuals with specific names, everybody in Congress becomes a suspect. That's not the kind of environment you wanna work in. The best is for Secretary de Lima to come up with a report and say these are the individuals and to give these individuals a chance to defend themselves," Zamora said.
Bello revealed to reporters that he saw someone who looks like Napoles in Malacanan during the Arroyo administration.
Bello is a former Cabinet member under the previous administration.
Pressed for details, Bello, however, said he is not sure since he only saw the person who looks like Napoles once at the Presidential Guest House, then the Office of Executive Secretary Eduardo Ermita.