NBI probes 'Napoles connection' in DAP releases

by Ina Reformina, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 07 2014 02:52 PM | Updated as of Jul 08 2014 08:00 AM

MANILA - The same National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) team that investigated the multi-billion peso "pork barrel scam" has been tasked to probe the alleged Napoles connection involving close to half a billion pesos in public funds released under the equally controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).

Justice Secretary Leila De Lima bared that the team, under the the NBI Special Task Force (STF), is already in possession of several documentary evidence such as the special allotment release orders (SARO) in the name of lawmakers who allegedly collectively caused the release of P475 million in DAP funds to Napoles NGOs in 2012.

An ABS-CBN News report by this reporter last Friday revealed that the SAROs were issued in the last quarter of 2011, at about the same time the DAP was created as a stimulus package by the Aquino administration, and the funds subsequently released in 2012.

Benhur Luy is willing to issue a sworn statement to give details about these supposed transactions, his lawyer, Raji Mendoza, told ABS-CBN News.

"We have the documents on that already; we are evaluating and see whether we have cases against those senators, and, if confirmed, then what to do about it -- kung irerefer namin sa Ombudsman or kami (NBI) pa din magfa-file," De Lima told justice beat reporters.

For now, the SAROs are already in the possession of the NBI, she added.

The Supreme Court (SC) unanimously ruled last week that the DAP is unconstitutional, and that its "authors, proponents, and implementors" may be criminally, civilly, and administratively liable unless there is showing of good faith.