MANILA - Former lawmaker and now TESDA chief Joel Villanueva need not go on leave after he was named by "pork barrel" scam case respondent-turned-state-witness-applicant Dennis Cunanan as one of several lawmakers who allocated portions of their pork barrel funds to NGOs linked to alleged scam brains Janet Lim Napoles.
Cunanan, the head of the Technology Resource Center (TRC), went on leave after charges were filed against him before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the multi-billion peso scam.
He is now under the Department of Justice's (DOJ) Witness Protection Program (WPP).
De Lima said Villanueva is not compelled to go on leave since no charges have been filed against him yet.
The justice chief bared on Friday that Villanueva is now being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
"No case has been filed vs Joel Villanueva, hence, no legal compulsion for him to go on leave. NBI still evaluating," De Lima said.
Another "pork barrel" scam case respondent, Ruffy Biazon, resigned as Customs chief after having been slapped with the charges.