Senate might invite journalists tagged in pork scam

by Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 19 2014 08:27 PM | Updated as of Mar 20 2014 04:27 AM

MANILA - Journalists who have have been implicated in the pork barrel scam and allegedly part of National Agribusiness Corporation's (NABCOR) payroll may be invited to the Senate Blue Ribbon committee hearing.

This is if the Senate decides to expand its probe to include the alleged misuse of funds that went through NABCOR.

"That can be part of a separate investigation," said Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Sen. TG Guingona, on the mediamen who were allegedly on the take.

However, former Agriculture Secretary and now Bohol Rep. Arthur Yap may not be invited to the hearing because of interparliamentary courtesy.

Guingona said it's also up to former Senator Edgardo Angara to decide if he wants to attend the hearing.

"We'll leave that up to him as we have done with other senators previously during the previous hearings," Guingona said.

Libel raps

Broadcaster Erwin Tulfo is set to file libel charges against the Philippine Daily Inquirer for what he calls malicious and damaging allegations linking him to the pork barrel scam.

Atty. Nelson Borja, Tulfo's legal counsel, said the PDI's story today tagging tulfo and another broadcaster as allegedly getting payoffs from NABCOR damages Tulfo's stature.

Borja said his client is ready to face allegations, adding that he has documents to prove that what Tulfo went into was a legal transaction and was payment for an advertising slot while he was still a commentator at RMN DZXL.

The payments were subject to taxes, he added.

Borja said they will ask the newspaper why it should not be sued for libel.

GMA-DZBB, meanwhile, said in a statement Wednesday that it will conduct a thorough probe on allegations against broadcaster Carmelo del Prado Magdurulang.

"Due process will be observed and we will ensure that full sanctions will be applied if determined to be necessary," GMA-DZBB consultant Mike Enriquez said.