DOJ mulls freezing assets of lawmakers in 'pork scam'
MANILA – The Department of Justice (DOJ) is now exploring the freezing and forfeiture of the assets of the lawmakers who are linked to the pork barrel scam.
This was revealed during the plenary deliberations of the agency's budget at the House of Representatives on Thursday.
Upon questioning by the Kabataan party-list Rep. Terry Ridon, DOJ Budget Sponsor Rep. Mercedes Alvarez confirmed that this is being explored.
On Wednesday, Ridon urged the government in a press conference to consider the freezing and civil forfeiture of the assets of lawmakers linked to the scam.
Ridon emphasized that the freeze and forfeiture proceedings may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings against the lawmakers.
Currently, lawmakers only face complaints before the Ombudsman in connection with the pork barrel scam.
Meanwhile, earlier in the same budget hearing, an agency under the Justice Department, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) revealed to Congress that it will be issuing guidelines on the rights of foreigners who are in the country.
This, after the interpellation of the agency's budget by ACT Teachers Rep. Antonio Tinio and Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares, which centered on the arrest of 2 foreigners who joined rallies recently.
Colmenares pointed out that foreigners still have human rights in the country.
The BI, through Alvarez, told the lawmakers in the plenary that the immigration will issue guidelines on the rights of foreigners within a month.