Press Release
May 15, 2014

Nancy seeks to reopen, reevaluate PDAF probe
...says Benhur withheld relevant information

Senator Nancy Binay today reiterated her call for the Blue Ribbon Committee to reopen the pork-barrel probe given the new developments surrounding the P10-billion Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.

Binay said that with the "Napoles List" already out in public, it is imperative for the BRC to look into these new developments and reevaluate its original report.

"The report, as it is, is incomplete and far from comprehensive. It did not cover all bases in its probe of the pork-barrel scam before making any recommendation. Also, the so-called 'Napoles list' implicating more senators underscores the incompleteness of the report and the need to reopen the probe," she stressed.

She noted that reopening the PDAF probe will pave way to a much comprehensive, across-the-board and honest-to-goodness investigation.

"Nakakalungkot ang nangyayari sa Institusyon, pero dapat itong harapin," she said, noting that the growing distrust of the people on some lawmakers is a serious matter that puts the integrity of the Senate, as an institution, in question.

According to Binay, during the series of hearings at the Senate, Benhur Luy withheld relevant information and failed to disclose the USB copy given to one broadsheet paper, or even mention the names of lawmakers, government officials and agents who are now part of the so-called "Napoles List".

"The people would want no less than transparency and accountability from all of us in government service. We also want to know the truth--all the more reason for Sec. Leila de Lima to submit her list now, and for the Blue Ribbon to reopen the investigation," Binay said.

The lady senator said that regardless of party affiliation, legislators who were mentioned in the "Napoles List" must be given a chance to defend themselves.

"Transparency, impartiality, fair play and the search for truth call for a comprehensive inquiry to dispel any accusation or notion of favoritism and discrimination particularly in view of the recent developments," Binay added.

In a letter to the Blue Ribbon Committee dated May 12, 2014, Binay pointed out that the draft report was premature since it is based on "incomplete and inconclusive" data and only concentrated on the transfer of PDAF to eight non-government organizations (NGOs) that were linked to Janet Lim-Napoles.

During the onset of the Senate probe, Binay filed Senate Resolution No. 254 which seeks to expand the PDAF scam inquiry and include the release of public funds by all national government agencies, local government units, government-owned or controlled corporations to NGOs.

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