NBI may file more pork scam cases next week
MANILA, Philippines - The second batch of criminal charges involving the alleged misuse of the congressional pork barrel may be filed next week, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Monday.
In an ambush interview, De Lima said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) took a while in preparing the second round of complaints due to more voluminous evidence and documents compared to the first batch of charges filed last month against alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and others, led by three senators.
“We’re targeting to file the second batch before the All Saints’ Day break if the NBI team completes verification of documents. We want to make sure we have strong evidence for each of the respondents,” De Lima said.
“This has more documents than the first batch, that’s why I can’t even say how many would be charged in this batch as we are still in the continuing process of validating, double checking the records,” she added.
De Lima was responding to the challenge posed by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who questioned the delay in the filing of the second batch of cases after citing that the first one had targeted him and two other opposition senators, Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr.
She also denied a newspaper report that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has already asked the US government to freeze the assets of Napoles and her family there.
She took exception to the report, which quoted a supposed reliable source who said DOJ officials went to the US embassy in Manila to formally ask help in running after the assets.