Senate to respect colleagues' silence on pork scam
MANILA - The Senate will respect the continued silence of members whose names have been dragged anew during the hearing on the pork barrel controversy on Thursday.
Senate President Franklin Drilon said it was the decision of senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla to inhibit from the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee.
Reached for comment, Revilla's media relations officer Amy Manzo said the senator will expound on his thoughts, but not at this time.
She said Revilla will have a privilege speech when all the testimonies are done.
Senators Estrada and Enrile were not around at the Senate and could not be reached through their mobile phones.
Former officials of the subsidiaries of the Department of Agriculture named (DA) said the three senators gave their respective endorsements to the projects of non-government organizations (NGOs) connected to businesswoman Janet Napoles.
Former National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR) vice-president for administration and finance Rhodora Mendoza told the senators she was “very sure” that all three and several other congressmen gave their endorsements to the NGOs, then represented by whistleblower Benhur Luy.
She also named other legislators as having given their endorsements to the projects of the NGOs: Congressmen Conrado Estrella III, Erwin Chiongbian, Rodolfo Plaza, Victor Ortega, Samuel Dangwa, Edgardo Valdez, Mark Douglas Cagas, Rizalina Lanete, Arthur Pinggoy, and Rodolfo Valencia.