MANILA - Plunder raps are being readied by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against those behind the P900-million Malampaya Fund mess.
In an interview with reporters at the justice department, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the complaint will be filed on Thursday with the Office of the Ombudsman.
The justice chief clarified that the other respondents will be slapped with a lesser offense, depending on their alleged participation in the siphoning of the Malampaya natural gas project royalties.
"P900 million [constitutes] plunder. Depende sa participation ng mga icha-charge kung ipapasok sila sa plunder; yung iba hind plunder, but, definitely, may plunder dyan," De Lima said.
The complaint was supposed to be filed today, Wednesday, but the filing had to be postponed because the witnesses, including pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy, have to appear during the continuation of the bail hearings against alleged pork scam brains Janet Lim Napoles, who is also being tagged in the Malampaya Fund controversy.
Napoles faces charges of serious illegal detention and kidnapping for the alleged abduction and illegal detention of Luy.
"Ngayon nga dapat, yung preferred date ko is today. I told them (NBI) that... but they told me, 'Ma'am, hindi po pwede'... since Benhur and the other whistleblowers are expected to be in the bail hearings na naman," De Lima said.
The witnesses have to be present during the filing of the complaint so they can personally swear on their affidavits.
Unlike the complaint involving the pork scam, no lawmaker will be charged for the Malampaya Fund mess, but official(s) from an Executive department may possibly included in the charge.