De Lima mum on 3rd batch of PDAF cases

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Monday, June 16, 2014

KEEPING her promise not to disclose details, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Monday refused to confirm if a senator and some former and current congressmen will be facing malversation charges in connection with the pork barrel scam.

In a chance interview, de Lima said she could not say if the names published by a major newspaper were accurate or not.

"I cannot confirm nor deny if it is accurate or what because consistent to our policy, we only announce the cases once they are filed (with the Office of the Ombudsman)," she said.

De Lima said she immediately called the attention of the National Bureau of Investigation's Special Task Force if they had a hand in the supposed leak of information on the third batch of cases.

The justice chief got a negative response.

Senator Gregorio Honasan II heads the list of possible respondents according to the report. Also in the list were Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (Tesda) chief Joel Villanueva, La Union Representative Victor Ortega, Cagayan de Oro City Representative Rufus Rodriguez and former Abono party-list Representative Robert Raymund Estrella, among others.

De Lima said she will be meeting the NBI-STF anytime this week to iron out preparations for the filing of charges against politicians and individuals who allegedly got kickbacks from the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

The lawmakers allegedly allocated their PDAF to the fake non-government organizations (NGOs) of detained businesswoman Janet Napoles, who is now facing plunder and graft cases at the Sandiganbayan along with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr.

Both Estrada and Revilla attributed the cases to Malacañang's supposed desire to destroy members of the opposition ahead of the 2016 elections.?

The three senators have asked the Sandiganbayan to junk the cases against them, citing lack of merit. (Sunnex)

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