- Posted September 7, 2013 by
P10-B fund scam divides Philippine Senate
Sen. Chiz Escudero on Friday said the issue has caused some friction among the senators who were identified as cohorts of businesswoman Janel Lim-Napoles, the alleged operator of the multi-billion peso scam.
“There is a bit of friction between some of its members, those that are involved, not involved, and could possibly be involved,” Escudero told reporters, a day after Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. were identified by witnesses as having endorsed their “pork barrel” to fake nongovernment organizations (NGOs) established by Napoles.
The Senate blue ribbon committee headed by Sen. TG Guingona is investigating the multi-billion peso scam, allegedly masterminded by Napoles in connivance with some lawmakers.
Napoles allegedly managed to siphon off some P10 billion from the PDAF of lawmakers by establishing bogus NGOs.
Witnesses in Thursday’s Senate hearing identified Enrile, Estrada and Revilla as having endorsed the release of their PDAF to these fake NGOs operated by Napoles.
Escudero said the scam has adversely affected the Senate and its credibility and has gone as far as affecting the work of its members.
“Friction in the sense that the atmosphere of the work is not normal unlike if there is no issue like this,” Escudero said.
Escudero further said that there were those who would accuse other members of riding on the pork barrel issue to look good.
“There are others who will say that they are putting down their fellow senators and that today’s accusers may find themselves in the same boat later on,” he said, adding that the situation is different when there are no issues like this where members of the Senate are involved and being the subject of hearings.