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Sen Escudero moves for full investigation on pork barrel scam in PH Legislature

A full blown inquiry into the alleged ten billion pesos Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam is pushed in the Senate by Senator Chiz Escudero once the 16th Philippine Congress opens next week.

Escudero filed Senate Resolution Number 40 (PSRN 40) directing the blue ribbon committee to conduct an inquiry into the said scam purportedly involving the Janet Lim-Napoles group.

The scam was bared by an investigative report which showed how the PDAF collectively known as pork barrel was released to dummy nongovernment organizations through forgery, falsification and bribery.

“Accountability and transparency in government dictates that this report must be quizzically looked into, not only for the representatives of the people to clarify their respective positions, if some may be involved, but to show to every Filipino as well that neither sacred cows nor the notion of an “old boys club” exists in a government working for change” Escudero explained in his resolution.

The senator, who has always espoused for a transparent and relevant use of PDAF, said the scam is damaging to the country as a whole and besmirching the names of all congressmen and senators in general.

“It has become a painful misconception that the PDAF is a cash allocation given to congressmen and senators with unlimited discretion to disburse and spend with neither constraints nor accountability. But to the contrary, legislators do not handle the funds and implement the projects. Their participation is but limited to the designation of beneficiaries and identification of projects, and the implementation is undertaken by government agencies concerned”.

Escudero said the designation of PDAF beneficiaries and how it purportedly mutated into a multi-billion government racket or scam allegedly by the Janet Lim-Napoles (JLN) Group of Companies must be scrutinized and must see an end where legislative and preventive measures are enacted to address this disturbing matter.

“We deserve no less as a people and as a nation, we have to make sure that everyone adheres to the principles of good governance when it comes to public funds. At the same time, we have a responsibility to protect the integrity and reputation of the Senate as an institution and as a pillar of our democracy. This should be non-negotiable” he said.

“Let the sovereign decide after due hearing and investigation whether to hang Damocles’ sword or not”. – from Philippine Senate Press Office