MANILA, Philippines - Government investigation shows that some local executives might have benefited from the pork barrel scam.
Secretary Leila de Lima said documents gathered by Department of Justice (DOJ) investigators reveal that some local governments have received Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) from lawmakers through bogus non-government organizations of Janet Lim-Napoles.
“The matrix on where the PDAF funds allegedly went showed the SAROs (special allotment release orders), the projects, the dates, etc.,” she said.
“There were funds that allegedly went to local governments.”
However, De Lima said the projects linked to local governments are “more difficult to confirm,” as compared to those with implementing agencies.
“This is really such a gigantic task because the projects involved are from various years,” she said.
“There are those from way, way back while there are also recent ones.”
De Lima did not name the local governments involved pending further validation.
The DOJ will coordinate with the Commission on Audit (COA), she added.
De Lima said the SAROs that investigators have gathered do not completely establish the veracity of allegations that the accused senators had dealt with Napoles.
“These SAROs are just proofs that these senators used their PDAF,” he said.
“But as to whether these funds went to NGOs (non-government organizations) of Napoles, we still have to verify.”
De Lima said investigators will check on implementing agencies identified in the SAROs to determine if the funds really went to their intended beneficiaries.
In the list she submitted to the DOJ last May, Napoles tagged 10 incumbent senators, two former senators, 69 incumbent and former members of the House of Representatives, as well as their alleged conduits in the implementing agencies.
De Lima has refused to set a date for the filing of the third batch of PDAF cases.
“Please don’t ask me about the third batch yet,” she said.
De Lima said the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) is set to file the third batch of PDAF cases with the Office of the Ombudsman in the third week of June.
The fact-finding probe started as early as last year when the NBI got documents and records from the whistle-blowers, she added.