MANILA - As the Office of the Ombudsman seems poised to file charges of plunder against three incumbent senators over the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam linked to Janet Lim Napoles, Malacañang looks to filing more cases for similar scams before President Benigno Aquino III finishes his term.
Deputy Presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said the Inter-Agency Anti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAGCC), composed of the Commission of Audit (COA), the Office of the Ombudsman, and the Department of Justice (DOJ), is in charge of investigating all the non-Napoles non-government organizations (NGOs) identified in the special audit report of COA.
"There were 80 foundations or NGOs that were identified in the Special Audit Report of the Commission on Audit and the way that it was... The division of work is such that the investigation on the Napoles NGOs was assigned to the Department of Justice and the NBI. The last public update of the Office of the Ombudsman was that the investigation is ongoing. The fieldwork on the investigation is ongoing. They will perhaps more be able to provide you with more details on that. We can hope. We can hope that they will be able to finish at least their initial investigation," she said.
Aquino has 756 days left in his term. Valte refused to speculate if the investigation may continue under the next administration even if Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales' 7-year term goes beyond Aquino's term.
"You will have to go to the IAGCC to ask her that. I cannot answer for them nor can I speculate on the inclinations of the next administration," she said.
The COA's special audit report on the Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) from 2007 to 2009 found that "the implementation of 772 projects by the selected 82 non-government organizations out of funds transferred by 10 implementing agencies amounting to P6.156B was not proper and highly irregular."
So far, only the cases involving Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada have moved forward though other lawmakers have been named in the special audit report as having given part of their pork barrel funds for projects implemented by the NGOs the COA has found to be bogus.