MANILA, Philippines - A third batch of respondents will be charged in connection with the pork barrel fund scam, with Sen. Gregorio "Gringo" Honasan reportedly included in the list.
A source revealed yesterday Honasan was named by principal whistle-blower Benhur Luy as among the lawmakers who channeled his Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations to the spurious non-government organizations created by accused pork barrel scam operator Janet Lim-Napoles.
“The biggest fish in the next case is Honasan,” the source told The STAR.
The source said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) may possibly file the case either next week or in the first week of May.
The source, however, is not sure if Honasan would be charged with plunder or malversation of public funds.
This would depend on the Department of Justice, the source said.
The same source revealed another member of the ruling Liberal Party was mentioned by Napoles in her tell-all confession with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima on Tuesday.
The LP member is an incumbent senator, the source revealed.
The source, however, declined to identify the lawmaker pending the release of the affidavit of Napoles.
Aside from Honasan, several congressmen, whose pork barrel funds were channeled to the NGOs linked to Napoles from 2007 to 2009, will also be included.
The NBI charged 30 people with plunder last September, including Napoles, Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr., and Jinggoy Estrada. Also included were the senators’ staff, heads of government agencies and officials of Napoles’ NGOs.
Two months later, the second batch of respondents were charged with malversation of public funds before the ombudsman.
Among them were Liberal Party member and former Customs commissioner Ruffy Biazon, heads of state agencies, Napoles and several NGO chiefs.
As in previous cases, the NBI will forward the case to the Office of the Ombudsman.
The ombudsman will evaluate the case before it files the charges before the Sandiganbayan.