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THE Department of Justice (DOJ) will file charges against lawmakers allegedly involved in the controversial P10-billion pork barrel scam “in a few weeks,” Secretary Leila de Lima said Tuesday.
At the sidelines of the launching of the proposed Philippine Code of Crimes at the Batasan Pambansa, de Lima said DOJ and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) handling the investigation are double checking the list of five senators and 23 congressmen who have earlier been named by whistleblower Benhur Luy.
According to Luy, businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles channeled pork barrel funds or priority development assistance funds (PDAF) of congressmen and senators to fund bogus non-government organizations (NGOs).
De Lima, however, refused to divulge the names of congressmen and senators to face charges but said that they “were able to confirm the involvement of some lawmakers.”
“There are names being mentioned but as I said, it is undergoing a process of validation. Iyong pwede lang namin sampahan ng kaso ay ‘yung mga suportado ng sapat na ebidensya, both testimonial and documentary,” de Lima said in an ambush interview.
What the Justice Secretary assured is that there is no “double standard” in the filing of charges before the Office of the Ombudsman.
“NBI does not engage itself in any partisan concern or its investigation is not affected or damaged by any partisan or political color. Maybe later when we start filing charges you would know or you would see it’s not at all a benchmark. The political color being the subject of the investigation does not matter,” De Lima said.
De Lima stressed that the charges are “dictated purely by evidence.”
De Lima meanwhile admitted that the investigation on the pork barrel scam will take long considering the magnitude of the controversy.
House leaders and senators earlier shunned the responsibility of investigating the allegations of misuse of pork barrel funds, leaving the matter entirely to the Justice Department. Read the related story: “Senate probe sought into pork barrel scam.”
Strict measures, however, will be implemented by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) starting next year in the allocation of PDAF.
Congressmen receive an annual PDAF of P70 million while senators receive P200 million yearly. (Kathrina Alvarez/Sunnex)

Read the original post: DOJ to file rap vs lawmakers tagged in pork barrel scam – Sun.Star

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