Press Release
August 18, 2013

Drilon asks to speed up investigation into PDAF scam to give
lawmakers a chance to defend themselves in proper judicial venue

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon today asked for an speedy investigation into the alleged misuse of the priority development assistance fund of some lawmakers which has been the news headlines for over one month and continued to cause public's uproar.

Drilon's call came after the Commission on Audit, in a special audit report on the 2007-2009 PDAF allocations, disclosed that billions of pesos worth of pork barrel funds of lawmakers allegedly went to bogus non-government organizations.

"I call on government investigating bodies to speed up the probe into this pork barrel scam and ensure as well the speedy judicial process," said Drilon. "The government must show resolve in addressing this issue so that the public will realize that we are taking appropriate and swift actions to get to the bottom of the controversy; and in the end, the government must be able to observe and apply justice and the rule of law," he stressed.

He said the resolution of the PDAF scam will help restore the people's trust in the justice system. "We need to finish the investigation so that those who are allegedly involved will be presented the opportunities to defend themselves and clear their names before an impartial and credible investigative body and appropriate judicial forum," said Drilon.

The Senate chief also urged the Commission on Audit, the Ombudsman, and the Department of Justice to coordinate closely in resolving the case and formulating necessary actions including filing of charges to those who were involved in the scam.

"These three investigating agencies should exercise a close coordination in resolving this case and studying the appropriate actions to undertake," he said.

Drilon said the COA audit report provided the evidence that the DOJ and the Ombudsman will have to carefully study in order to determine if they warrant filing for charges.

"Because of the audit report, we are all under clout of doubt. Even if our names were not in the report, the people have the tendency to generalize and suspect us to be doing illegal in the use of our pork barrel," said Drilon.

"That is why we need to finish the investigation the soonest in order to shed lights on the issue and to enable the involved lawmakers to answer allegations against them in the proper venue" he ended.

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