Senate inquiry on pork scam to resume Tuesday
MANILA – The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is set to resume its hearing on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam on Tuesday, September 24.
Committee chair TG Guingona, in a statement, said that Benhur Luy, together with other whistleblowers, have been invited to the hearing.
He said the “Committee gave the Department of Justice and the whistleblowers in the case ample time to prepare for the filing of charges against those implicated in the alleged Napoles 'pork barrel scam.'”
The hearing continues despite the filing of plunder and graft complaints against Janet Lim Napoles and several lawmakers and staff at the office of the Ombudsman last Monday.
In a press conference Wednesday afternoon, Senator Grace Poe said the Blue Ribbon hearings are still relevant and important despite the recent developments.
"The Senate can provide a forum where the people can have their own informed judgment," Poe said.
The senator also believes that the suspension of the three accused senators should happen when cases have been filed in court.
"If you are not convicted but charged with plunder which is non-bailable it will be very difficult for you to discharge your duties," Poe said.
"Common sense, how can you easily discharge your duties if you are not physically present or easily accessible?"
Minority Senator JV Ejercito said he also believes that the Blue Ribbon hearing should continue, saying that "terminating it now would only confirm their apprehensions that the hearings were selective."
Ejercito noted that the three accused senators all come from the minority bloc.
"Kung meron na tatamaan na kasamahan o kapartido ang pangulo, I challenge the committee why not investigate also the leadership of the House, of the Senate...pati dating legislators na nasa Cabinet ngayon."
The senator also admitted that the minority is demoralized with recent developments, saying that he tries his best to give moral support to his colleagues.