Palace: 'Pork' scam part of Aquino's Sona

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Sunday, June 8, 2014

MANILA -- President Benigno Aquino III is expected to include in his State of the Nation Address (Sona) on July 28 the filing of cases against those allegedly involved in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam, a Palace official said Sunday.

Presidential Communications Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr. said that the President already ordered his speechwriters to prepare the outline of his Sona.

"Yun pong tinukoy (filing of PDAF cases), bahagi po kasi ng prayoridad ng pamahalaan ‘yung good governance at anti-corruption. Tiyak kong tatalakayin ‘yan dahil magbibigay ng ulat ang Pangulo sa performance ng administrasyon sa mga haliging programa o prayoridad ng Philippine Development Plan, kasama na po ‘yung good governance and anti-corruption campaign," he said over dzRB Radyo ng Bayan.


Coloma, however, denied that the filing of plunder charges against Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr. before the Sandiganbayan was railroaded.

Estrada has accused the government of rushing the filing of plunder case against him in time for Aquino's Sona.

Coloma said the investigation and case build-up against those accused have been done for a long time.

"‘Yon pong mga usapin ay inihain sa Tanggapan ng Ombudsman bandang Agosto-Setyembre pa. Wala po sa kontrol natin kung kailan po matatapos ‘yon, ano. At nakita po natin na inabot hanggang Abril ‘yung paglalabas ng unang resolusyon finding probable cause doon sa nauna sa mga PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund)-related cases, at ang sumunod naman po ay noon lamang nakaraang linggo, ‘yung panibagong resolusyon na denial ng motion for reconsideration at ‘yung paghahain na rin po ng information sa Sandiganbayan," he said.

"Kaya wala pong timing na ganyan, ano, katulad ng binabanggit. Ang hangad lang po natin ay maisulong ang mga prosesong naaayon sa batas," Coloma added.

Coloma said that Estrada's allegation seemed to be a "diversion" of the real issue.

He also said that it would be up to the Sandiganbayan to decide if Enrile, who is already 90 years old, could be placed under house or hospital arrest once the warrant of arrest is issued against him. (SDR/Sunnex)

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