Press Release
September 9, 2013

RIP Pork - Cayetano: Resolving Pork barrel scam, a test of govt's determination in fighting corruption

Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano believes that filing cases against those involved in the pork barrel scandal would prove the Aquino administration's determination in punishing unscrupulous individuals who target government funds.

"All personalities behind the pork barrel scam should be held accountable and face charges for abusing government funds. It's important that these individuals be prosecuted to show the administration's determination in ridding the country of corruption," he told Neil Ocampo of DZRH in an interview Monday morning.

He said that the Filipino people want not only for the truth to come out but also for those proven guilty to pay for abusing funds that could have improved the lives of the poor.

"The people are always complaining that the administration has brought no charges against those implicated in past scandals like the NBN-ZTE deal or the Fertilizer Fund scam. We need to hold these people accountable and we need to make sure that the case we file against them is airtight. This case has cast so much doubt on the reputation of the government. We need to make sure that the evidence is strong so the case will not be watered down," the Senator said.

Cayetano has disapproved of talks to consider Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged brains behind the P10-billion pork barrel scam, as state witness.

He said that the Filipino people's doubt that the government would indeed pursue cases against those found guilty of abusing the PDAF was enough reason for Napoles not to turn state witness, saying that it could be a bad precedent for other personalities found guilty operating fake NGOs. "What about the rest of the 84 foundations and the fake NGOs which received the funds? Those guilty might ask to turn state witness, too. Allowing them to become state witness or for non-bailable charges against them to be downgraded would set a bad example," the Senator said.

"The whistleblowers knew enough and had information on the ties between the fake NGOs and the lawmakers who allowed their pork barrel funds to be used," he added.

"They not only know where Napoles keeps the money, they also know who she dealt with and how much went to whom. The people expect their taxes to improve their lives, instead these were stolen by bogus NGOs," Cayetano said.

The Senator has been supportive of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee's investigation into the pork barrel scam and has called for the abolition of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). He has also filed Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 4 which seeks to abolish the PDAF.

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