Press Release
August 28, 2013


As the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee conducts its initial hearing on the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) scam tomorrow, Senator Chiz Escudero would ask for more witnesses to appear before the committee.

Escudero, chairman of the senate committee on finance and author of the resolution that formed the basis of the Blue Ribbon investigation said he would formally ask the committee tomorrow to invite more witnesses to shed light on the various allegations of pork barrel abuse and misuse.

The committee has only invited so far officials of the Commission on Audit (COA).

"We want to hear from the whistle blowers, from the implementing agencies which have been repeatedly mentioned in various news reports. We only hear and read about them from the news, it is time we hear it straight from these people".

He mentioned the National Agribusiness Corp (NABCOR), Technology Resource Center (TRC), National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC), Zamboanga del Norte Rubber Estate Corp. (ZREC) and the Philippine Forest Corp. (PhilForest) as among the list of entities that he would ask to be called before the committee.

"These are agencies commonly appearing as conduits for PDAF releases to seemingly favoured NGOs" he said.

The senator was the first among his colleagues to have asked the senate to look into the alleged PDAF rip offs of the Janet Napoles group by filing Philippine Senate Resolution No. 41 (PSR No. 41), which first formed the basis of the blue ribbon committee investigation tomorrow.

"While the NBI, the DOJ and the Ombudsman are already doing their own investigation, it is doing so away from the public eyes. The senate investigation is a chance for everyone to hear and make statements in public and under oath. We get the facts straight and not on an installment basis. Each of us here in the senate has the duty and obligation to address this issue. Everyone is equally responsible to oversee the use of people's money and ensure that it is properly and judiciously disbursed".

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