Senate 'pork' probe resumes Thursday

By Christina Mendez, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jan 27 2014 07:34 AM | Updated as of Jan 27 2014 03:34 PM

MANILA - The Senate Blue Ribbon committee will resume its inquiry into the pork barrel scam on Thursday in a bid to come up with policies in the registration, accreditation and monitoring of non-government organizations (NGO) tapped to handle lawmakers’ pet projects.

Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee, said the panel would start the hearing at 10 a.m.

Guingona said the invited personalities are chairman Teresita Herbosa of the Securities and Exchange Commission, chairman Maria Grace Pulido-Tan of the Commission on Audit, and chairman Cesar Villanueva of the Governance Commission for GOCCs.

Also invited are chairman Emmanuel Santiaguel of the Cooperative Development Authority, executive director Dennis Santiago of the Government Procurement and Policy Board, and chairman Augusto Carpio of the Philippine Council for NGO Accreditation.

Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and whistleblowers led by Benhur Luy are not invited to the probe.

Sen. Koko Pimentel said the committee should wrap up its proceedings on the pork barrel scam.

“We have called on the whistleblowers and Napoles. I don’t see any purpose if we will call for another hearing,” Pimentel said in a radio interview.

He also said the Senate hearing would not be as exciting as before since the committee would focus its probe on the weaknesses of the pork barrel system not on the personalities involved.

“But it is just as important because we will be dealing with the policies. How to solve this, and why it happened and how to prevent it (from happening in the future),” Pimentel added.