MANILA, Philippines - Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas yesterday urged his party mates in the Liberal Party (LP) who have been implicated in the pork barrel scam to cooperate with the investigation.
Roxas, LP president-on-leave, said, “We expect their full cooperation and follow due process. They would be given an opportunity to explain themselves so I expect that there would be an explanation.”
It was reported that some LP congressmen were among those who allocated portions of their pork barrel or Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to the National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor), the government agency that implemented projects funded by lawmakers who endorsed bogus nongovernment organizations from 2007 to 2009.
Alleged pork barrel scam brains Janet Lim-Napoles has been linked to the diversion of PDAF of several lawmakers into dummy NGOs purportedly for ghost projects worth over P10 billion.
Several administration lawmakers were among the 83 lawmakers accused of coursing their pork barrel allocations through Nabcor that released the money to questionable NGOs to implement the projects.
Sen. Juan Edgardo Angara has expressed belief that his father, former Senate president Edgardo Angara, could explain why he used the Nabcor as implementing agency for his pork barrel during his term.
“I’m concerned but I’m pretty confident that he could answer these charges against him,” the younger Angara said.
“His name came out in the full report. The COA commissioner said just appearing in the COA report is not evidence of criminal involvement,” he added.
Angara believes his father could answer the circumstances on why he allocated P20 million of his PDAF and endorsed it to the NGO Kagandaan ng Kapaligiran Foundation Inc. (KKFI).
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago has filed Senate Resolution 575 calling on the Senate Blue Ribbon committee to summon as resource persons two former officials of the Nabcor.
Santiago wanted the Senate committee looking into the pork barrel scam to invite Rhodora Mendoza and Victor Roman Cacal to the hearings in the wake of reports that Nabcor, which is under the Department of Agriculture, was allegedly the favored agency of Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr.
For his part, Estrada said he is ready to defend his actions.
“As for me, I can defend my actions, I will defend myself in court if the need arises as long as they also mention all the legislators who are also involved and not just focus the probe on the three of us,” Estrada said.