COTABATO CITY — Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala has appealed to his critics to carefully study the two affidavits executed by suspected pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles before making unfair conclusions against him.
He also urged officials and employees of the DA-12 to allow the due process to take its course and cease from pre-judging him on the basis of media publicity.
Lawyer Emerson Palad, DA spokesperson and undersecretary, said the affidavits of Napoles would reveal that the Department did not deviate from the procedure with respect to the implementation of projects under the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund.
The alleged involvement of Secretary Alcala in the scandal is just improbable,” Palad said.
He added that if there were any anomalies or abuses in the use of PDAF, the affidavits would show that these were committed under the watch of previous administrations and not under Secretary Alcala.
Secretary Alcala has repeatedly and categorically denied knowing Napoles or “conniving with her or any of her agents and non-government organization” to corrupt the congressional Priority Development Assistance Funds.
“Ako, sigurado ako sa sarili ko, never ko po siyang naka-transact, [even during my incumbency as a congressman] (I am sure about myself that I never dealt with her, even during my incumbency as a congressman),” Secretary Alcala said in a previous media interview, issuing a challenge to Napoles and other accusers to show solid evidences against him.
In a statement, DA said unfounded accusations against Secretary Alcala and its organization concerning the pork barrel scam is unfair to both “the farmers and to the Department.”
“Since day one in office, and up to this day, the Secretary and the rest of the DA family have been relentlessly working alongside agriculture-fishery stakeholders to advance the state of Philippine agriculture, and to improve the plight of small farmers and fishermen,” the DA statement said.