MANILA (UPDATED) -- Malacanang on Wednesday fired back at Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. for daring Palace officials to undergo a lifestyle check.
The senator on Tuesday said he wants a lifestyle check for all, including President Benigno Aquino III, Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, and Budget Secretary Butch Abad in response to the challenge of on-leave Technology Resource Center (TRC) Director General Dennis Cunanan that he undergo a lifestyle check.
Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda wondered what relevance their own lifestyle check will have to the case Revilla is facing.
"Does it improve his credibility? What's the point? I think the point is sagutin niya na lang issue, wag na siya mandamay. Pandayin niya ng husto ang kaso niya. Wag ka na mandamay," he said.
"Lifestyle check to (Cabinet) members not part of case will not make him more credible or less credible," he added.
Lacierda said in so far as the President is concerned, he regularly submits his statement of assets, liabilities, and net worth (SALN).
He revealed Aquino usually files his SALN ahead of the April 30 deadline. Lacierda said he will check if Aquino has already filed his SALN.
Lacierda, meanwhile, referred to the Department of Justice (DOJ) questions on why the three senators -- Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile, are not yet the subject of forfeiture proceedings with regards to their assets.
“We can ask her (De Lima) if there are any actions planned on the three senators but I cannot speak ahead of Secretary Leila de Lima. I would not be competent to answer because there are reasons for that. So I will leave it,” he said.
Meanwhile, one of those whose assets have been sought for forfeiture is Energy Regulatory Commission chair Zenaida Ducut, who was a congresswoman at the time of the pork barrel scam.
Ducut is now facing an administrative investigation.
“I don't want to preempt the Deputy Executive Secretary for Legal Affairs. It's undergoing investigation under his office. So any information as to what pace, any status --- I can ask him about the status. But as to the direction that their investigation is taking, I cannot speak for them… But it's an administrative case against Chairman Ducut, so that is being studied,” Lacierda said.
He also revealed that lawyer Levito Baligod continues to be involved in the pork barrel scam case as he continues to represent one of the other witnesses.
As for new witnesses, Lacierda said De Lima is on the lookout for new witnesses with new information. "Kung corroborative in all likelihood hindi na i-entertain."