Lawyers volunteer to help 'pork barrel' scam whistleblowers

From a report by Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 03 2013 08:39 PM | Updated as of Aug 04 2013 07:23 AM

MANILA – As a lawyer for the Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, Atty. Ernesto Francisco was furious over news reports about P10 billion of pork barrel funds went to fake non-government organizations (NGO) and ghost projects.

He now wants to volunteer his legal services for free to the six whistleblowers who exposed the scam.

“Kung totoo ang mga pangyayaring ito, dapat ito ay mahinto para naman ang pondo ng bayan natin ay magamit para sa mga mahihirap,” said Francisco.

Francisco also calls on the Senate and the House to start investigating the scam.

The lawyer said the public has the right to know just how lawmakers use taxpayers' money.

“Obligasyon niyo sa amin, sa ating lahat na bumoto sa inyo na linisin ‘yung pangalan niyo at patunayan niyo na ang paggamit ng pondo ng bayan ay nasa maayos at hindi niyo binubulsa,” he said.
In a previous exclusive interview, Benhur Luy and other whistleblowers accused businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles of setting up bogus NGOs to get her hands on pork barrel money.

Napoles vehemently denies the allegation.

Aside from Francisco, two other lawyers offered to help the whistleblowers for free from several cases filed by the camp of Napoles.