Sunday, August 4, 2013

The Pork Barrel Scam Gets Deeper, Stinkier

And more names are being dragged down the pigsty, that is the Pork Barrel or the PDAF (Priority Development Assistance Fund) Scam. Aside from the five senators earlier implicated by whistleblowers Benhur Luy and Merlina Suñas, other lawmakers' names keep popping up.

Initially, senators JuanPonce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla, Gringo Honasan, and Bongbong Marcos were named by Luy and Suñas. Now, four other senators - Lito Lapid, Loren Legarda, Antonio Trillanes and Koko Pimentel - have been added to the sizzling roster. Lapid allegedly gave Php5-M from his pork fund in 2011 to the town of Polillo in the province of Quezon to be used for "anti-dengue inoculants". Problem is, there were no reported cases of dengue in that area in 2011.

Sen. Lito Lapid as Leon Guerrero : Lamok siguradong teypok 

Meanwhile,  Legarda, Trillanes and Pimentel are close political allies of Pres. Benigno Aquino III, thus DOJ Sec. Leila De Lima's immediate defense of the three comes under suspect. She almost blurted out "In a pig's eye!" when asked about the three solons' involvement. Huwag muna kasing pa-ambush interview if you wanted to skirt an issue. Napaghahalata tuloy na may kinakampihan.

Other lawmakers being identified with the anomalous transactions included former House Representative Prospero Pichay. In a TV interview, Pichay acknowledged that he knew Janet Lim-Napoles and her family. Napoles is the central figure in the Pork Barrel Scam, allegedly setting up bogus non-governmental organizations that were used to funnel the funds. Definitely, it's not the first time we heard of Pichay's name being implicated in misuse of government funds. In 2011, he was investigated by the Office of the Ombudsman when he reportedly invested Php780-M from the Local Water Utilities Administration fund to a cash-strapped thrift bank in Laguna. Pichay used to be LWUA's the board of trustees chairperson.

And expect the list to grow longer and the quagmire to get deeper as the Commission on Audit continues to track down questionable PDAF releases. The number of congressmen on the CoA's radar now has ballooned to 49 from the 23 previously revealed by the whistleblowers.

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