Tayao says pork scam case may backfire on PNoy admin
MANILA - Political analyst Edmund Tayao believes the three senators linked to the pork barrel scam will survive the controversy.
However, Tayao noted that while Senator Juan Ponce Enrile may not be affected by the scam, it may affect the political future of Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. ahead of the 2016 elections.
"Senator Enrile has 9 lives. So I'm not sure whether this is enough to make him simply go away. If you are going to look at the 3, it's only Enrile who has shown some kind of track record," he told ANC on Saturday.
"As far as senators Jinggoy and Revilla are concerned, they are I'd like to think just at the peak of their political careers and they have yet to really mark their leadership... So for 2016, definitely mahihirapan yan," he said.
The Office of the Ombudsman on Friday formally filed plunder charges against the three senators before the Sandiganbayan.
Also included in the charge sheet are the alleged mastermind of the scheme Janet Lim Napoles, Revilla's staff Richard Cambe, Estrada's former staff Pauline Labayen, Enrile's former chief of staff Jessica "Gigi" Reyes, Ronald John Lim, and John Raymund de Asis.
According to Tayao, unless charges are filed against others included in Janet Lim Napoles' list of individuals who allegedly benefited from the scam, including allies of the Aquino administration, it will appear that the three senators are only a target of political persecution.
"If there is no clear indication that this is an honest-to-goodness drive versus graft and corruption, which means that it will not distinguish between foe and ally, it is not going to impact on the opposition and may even impact on the administration."
Meanwhile, he said it will work to the benefit of President Benigno Aquino III to let go of Budget Secretary Butch Abad amid his alleged links to the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.
Tayao, however, doubts the President would seriously consider the option. -- Report from ANC