Napoles could be front for PDAF 'operators': Lacson
MANILA - Former Senator Panfilo Lacson on Friday said authorities should focus on pursuing a syndicate that may be operating behind businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the P10 billion pork barrel scam.
Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, said there could be a group of operators who are only using Napoles.
"Let's not deal with Napoles because I think Napoles is just a poster person of a group of operators na independently operating," he told ANC.
The former lawmaker welcomed calls to head a special investigating team to look into alleged abuses of the lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.
He said, however, that he would like to know the scope of the job and to be given a free hand.
He said that while the Ombudsman is now properly exercising its mandate, it still needs a law enforcement component to effectively fight corruption.
Lacson was earlier named by Senator Alan Peter Cayetano as the best person to help the Senate probe into the alleged pork barrel scam.
Senator Juan Ponce Enrile is also in favor of tapping Lacson.
"I was very excited nung unang idea that I'd be heading an anti-corruption agency that would support Ombudsman... Pag merong law enforcement agency arm ang Ombudsman, which is ito yung pinoproject na gawin sana ng government, it can help a lot to fight corruption," Lacson said.
"Kung sakaling ma-adopt, gusto kong makita ano ba gagawin ng special independent investigator, gusto kong makita yung scope tapos yung authority, ano talaga yung mandate. Kasi without those items, mahirap magsabi na tatanggapin ko agad o hindi ko tatanggapin," he added.
Meanwhile, amid claims he never touched his PDAF, Lacson clarified he did avail of his pork barrel in 2001 for a road construction project found to be substandard.
He insists legislators should be held accountable for how their funds are spent.
"It's incumbent upon the legislator, kasi responsibilidad niya yun, to check," he said. -- ANC