- Posted August 26, 2013 by
Phl creates probe body vs corrupt lawmakers
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima told a press conference in Manila that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has been tasked to complete its collection of evidence before the filing of appropriate cases with the graft court.
De Lima said the NBI will then submit its findings and recommendations to the graft court headed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.
She also said that the documents taken from the Commission on Audit (COA) detailing how the lawmakers spent the controversial fund are crucial to the investigation.
De Lima, however, stressed that the COA documents could not be considered as hard evidence in filing the cases.
“The case will be filed in due time, maybe in the next two weeks,” De Lima said.
The press conference was held a day after a mammoth rally attended by professionals, students and religious groups, among others, hit Manila on Monday.
The protesters numbering half a million were united in calling the government to unconditionally abolish the lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), better known as pork barrel.
During the protest rally, a manifesto detailing President Benigno Aquino III’s P1.330 billion-pork barrel was also being distributed.
In the said manifesto, former National Treasurer Leonor Briones and Bayan Muna Partylist Rep. Neri Colmenares called on the executive department to explain the lump sum items in the national budget.
Briones and Colmenares believe that the lump sum items are the President’s version of lawmakers’ pork barrel funds.