Group: No to Ping as lead pork investigator

Posted at 08/22/13 11:24 AM

MANILA – A civil society group is not in favor of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano's proposal to have Senator Panfilo Lacson lead an independent probe into the pork barrel scam.

Vince Lazatin, Transparency and Accountability Network executive director, said Lacson's supposed political debts prevent him from conducting an independent investigation into the matter.

"I don't think I can go along with Senator [Alan Peter] Cayetano on that. Senator Lacson still has political image. If there's any independent probe it should be by people who are not politicians and perceived to be independent…Anything he does will likely be perceived as coddling," Lazatin told ANC.

Cayetano earlier said that Lacson is ideal to lead the probe, citing the latter's experience in intelligence gathering and non-use of own pork barrel funds.

The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is poised to launch its own probe on the pork scam on August 29, following the disclosure of the Commission on Audit (COA) on the alleged billions of misused pork barrel funds.

Anti-pork protest

Meantime, civil society groups will hold a protest in Luneta and various provinces on Monday, August 26, at 9 a.m., in hopes of gathering a million signatures that will support petitions for the abolition of the pork barrel funds, formally known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

More than 22,000 people have so far signed up to suspend or abolish the pork barrel fund.

Gang Badoy, communications director of Change.org, said the impromptu campaign was fueled by viral sentiment against the pork barrel mess involving businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, who is currently at large for a separate charge of illegal detention. – with ANC