Villanueva says PDAF case 'old'; files MR

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 14 2016 12:12 PM

Senator Joel Villanueva. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

Senator Joel Villanueva said he has already filed a motion for reconsideration before the Office of the Ombudsman after the anti-graft body ordered his dismissal on Monday.

In a press statement, Villanueva insisted that his signatures on the National Agri-business Corporation (NABCOR) documents were forged and the National Bureau of Investigation can attest to this.

"The NBI has already made a conclusion that the signatures on the related documents were forged. One of the documents even used a Buhay party-list letterhead, when I was representing CIBAC party-list," he said.

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales on Monday ordered Villanueva's dismissal after he and nine others were found liable for the misuse of the lawmaker’s 2008 Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).

The neophyte senator however maintained that this was an "old case" when he was still a member of Congress. He categorically denied receiving the amount "as far as [he] can remember."

"I already filed a motion for reconsideration before the Ombudsman, and will leave it to the Senate President to act on the Ombudsman's order," he said.

"In any case, my faith is strong in the judicial system and in time, justice will be served," he added.

Meanwhile, Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, who was ordered to implement the dismissal order, asserted that he wants the Ombudsman to first resolve Villanueva' motion for reconsideration but will still refer the matter to the Senate's Rules Committee.

"I was informed that a motion for reconsideration was filed. Hence the Ombudsman must act on that first before I act on the Ombudsman's comm to me," he said in a statement sent via a text message.

"Although I would follow the "better" procedure which is to refer the Ombudsman letter to the Rules Committee," he added.