De Lima to probe list of lawmakers tagged in NABCOR 'scam'

By Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 17 2014 05:59 PM | Updated as of Mar 18 2014 01:59 AM

MANILA - Justice Secretary Leila De Lima will look into the list of lawmakers, who allegedly funneled millions of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to questionable NGOs, submitted by 2 former National Agri-business Corp. (NABCOR) officials to the Ombudsman.

The former officials, Rhodora Mendoza and Vic Cacal, submitted the list to the Office of the Ombudsman to form part of their counter-affidavit on criminal charges in connection with the multi-billion peso scam.

De Lima said Mendoza and Cacal went straight to the Ombudsman, and the justice chief has yet to receive copies of their counter-affidavits.

The list includes 4 senators and 79 representatives. Also included in the NABCOR list are PDAF scam case respondents Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, and Juan Ponce Enrile; the 4th senator named is former Sen. Edgardo Angara.

De Lima said she cannot say, for now, if the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) should already look into the matter, since the NBI is only investigating the involvement of personalites who used NGOs linked with alleged scam brains Janet Lim Napoles.

The larger picture, she said, is currently being probed by the Inter-Agency Graft Coordinating Council (IAGCC).

"Titingnan ko muna kung Napoles NGOs ba ito, at kung hindi ba ito kasama na sa iniimbestigahan ng NBI. Or, kung iniimbestigahan na ba ito ng IAGCC," De Lima said.

The IAGCC has already formed several teams to investigate the personalities allegedly involved in the PDAF scam, which is why there is no truth to Estrada's claims that Revilla, Enrile, and himself, are being targeted by the DOJ and NBI, De Lima stressed.

According to Mendoza and Cacal, a total of P1.7 billion in "pork barrel" was funneled by the 83 lawmakers into questionable NGOs.