Press Release
August 16, 2013


Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III, PDP Laban President, today sought a parallel investigation by the Senate into the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam, saying Congress, aside from its inherent power over the purse, has the duty to oversee the spending of public funds.

Pimentel said that the overwhelming clamor by the people to get deeper into the bottom of the most damaging issue to rock the halls of Congress in history should be accommodated to preclude public suspicions that legislators are "protecting their own", because some legislators have been dragged into the controversy.

No less than Manila Archbishop Luis Antonio Cardinal Tagle had urged solons and others involved in the alleged crime to repent, describing the pork barrel scam as an "intricate web of corruption," perpetrated by the alleged mastermind of the bogus deal, Janet Lim-Napoles.

Pimentel said that the burgeoning public outcry focused at the enormous misuse of public funds has already sapped the energy of a nation that there is an urgent need to unravel the dirt of the raw deal so that those who are guilty are punished under our legal system, and those who are innocent, to have their names cleared.

He said that it is the Filipino people, especially the poor, who have received the short end of the shady transactions which amounted over the years to allegedly more than P10 billion, making as sorry victims a number of innocent local officials, farmers and other disadvantaged persons.

Pimentel said that the Senate inquiry should be fair and impartial but deep enough to unmask the culprits behind the scam and clear the names of those who are innocent from the charges before the eyes of the discriminating public.

The investigation, Pimentel said, is also badly needed by Congress to repair the shattered image of the institution which had earlier generated tremendous public adulation for its conduct of high-profile inquiries, highlighted by the impeachment trial of Chief Justice Renato Corona. However, he added that the main purpose of the inquiry should be to find out if the PDAF or pork barrel system is still salvageable or not.

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