Senate to finally probe pork barrel scam

Posted at 08/20/13 12:48 PM

MANILA - The Senate, via the Blue Ribbon Committee, will finally begin to investigate a scam that has linked lawmakers to the misuse of their priority development assistance funds (PDAF).

In a statement, Senator Teofisto Guingona III said the recent disclosure of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the alleged billions of misused pork barrel has prompted them to begin the probe.

He said the senators earlier reached a consensus to put on hold the probe to give way to the investigation already being done by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

“It was our view that the preliminary findings by the DOJ and the NBI can serve as a basis for the Blue Ribbon Committee’s probe,” Guingona said of the Senate’s reason before.

This time, the “COA findings can now serve as a basis as the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee to begin its probe,” he said.

The first hearing will be held on August 29 at 9:00 a.m. 

The person invited to testify is COA chief Grace Pulido-Tan.

Last Friday, Pulido-Tan disclosed that 10 NGOs with links to Janet Napoles received some P2.157 billion in pork barrel between 2007 and 2009, or during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

She described the findings as “appalling.”