MANILA — Members of the House of Representatives who had been implicated in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam can continue functioning their duties and responsibilities as lawmakers, said Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr.
Belmonte said he has no intention to suspend anyone implicated in the PDAF scam for there are no penalties identified in the House rules.
“In the first place, our House rules do not provide for anything like that, and they will continue to be a member. If they are charged with plunder, they may end up at the detention, but, gagawin na lang siguro nilang example si (Sen. Antonio) Trillanes — holding office from his detention,” he explained.
“Personally, I would not attach any kind of odium to that dahil sa naniniwala pa naman tayo sa ating prime rule na inosente ka hanggang hindi ka napo-prove guilty,” he added.
The House leadership pointed out that the case of his colleagues had no details on how they were implicated or there is no information on how they acquire the questionable fund.
“There is no paper trail to some of them. Yung iba binanggit lang ang pangalan pero wala namang sinabi kung papaano nasangkot. Malabo talaga ang detalye,” he stressed.
He even encouraged his colleagues to get ready with their documents to prove that they have nothing to do with the false information which had been printed in newspapers.
The Speaker added that the affected congressmen can still enjoy their benefits and entitlement until the court makes its final decision convicting them of graft.
He even made an appeal that if this happened, he asked the court not to make an arrest inside the premises of the House of Representatives.