Trillanes backs Ombudsman probe on pork scam
MANILA - Senator Antonio Trillanes IV is backing an online petition calling on the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct an impartial investigation on the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam.
In a statement, Trillanes said he will join and support "the petition of the Former Senior Government Officials in urging the Office of the Ombudsman to conduct an impartial investigation of the alleged grave misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund."
He also urged past and present legislators to voluntarily subject themselves to the investigation and prove they are accountable to the public.
"We cannot turn a blind eye to this issue, especially when it has already besmirched the integrity of both Houses of Congress. All the more, we cannot turn away from the people's demand for transparency because we are all accountable to them,” he said.
The former government officials earlier launched a petition on Change.org urging the Ombudsman to probe the lawmakers’ involvement in the siphoning of funds to fake non-government organizations.
The petition was started by former education undersecretary Isagani Cruz, former education secretary Edilberto de Jesus, former environment secretary Fulgencio Factoran, Jr., former senator and trade and industry minister Vicente Paterno and former finance secretary Jesus Estanislao.
Change.org said the petition has been signed by the likes of former senator Leticia Ramos-Shahani, former environment secretary Bebet Gozun and former tourism and interior secretary Rafael Alunan III, academics, writers, journalists, lawyers, students and activists have supported the petition. To date, close to 15,000 have signed the petition. https://www.change.org/ph/mga-petisyon/the-office-of-the-ombudsman-condu...
“The Senators and Representatives who channeled funds to fake NGOs were not political neophytes. They, and we, were not born yesterday. Patronage of fake NGOs, particularly when repeated, provides grounds for charging culpable negligence, if not complicity in corruption,” the petition reads.
They also called on President Benigno Aquino III to create a special PDAF review body with representatives from the Department of Budget and Management, the Department of Justice and the private sector.
“Our lawmakers should serve as models for compliance with the law. Only then can they have the moral authority to exercise oversight powers over the two other branches of government,” the petition also reads.