MANILA – According to Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, the probe and filing of charges related to the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam have already been brought to an end after the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed the third and last batch of cases last week.
“There is nothing on the table at the moment with respect to the PDAF cases arising out of the Commission on Audit (COA) special report covering the years 2007, 2008 and 2009 and involving non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles,” De Lima said. “We’re done with the PDAF cases and Napoles NGOs (non-government organizations).”
Nine new respondents have been linked to the PDAF scam, including Senator Gregorio Honasan and Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Chief Joel Villanueva.
Napoles and Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinngoy Estrada and Bong Revilla, along with the new set of respondents, are now facing plunder and graft charges for the misappropriation and misuse of the PDAF.
Several government-owned companies were also allegedly connected to the PDAF scam; these included the Philippine Forest Corp., National Agri-Business Corp., National Livelihood Development Corp., Technology and Livelihood Resource Center, and Zamboanga del Sur University Real Estate Corp. These firms purportedly served as pork barrel fund conduits.
Another possible case
Meanwhile, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has still been investigating on an NGO not linked to Napoles. De Lima, however, clarified that it was ‘only a possible case’ and that the NBI may not even be able to obtain enough evidences to support the complaint against it.
Subsequent COA annual audit reports also linked at least four more congressmen to the PDAF scam. This may bring another possible case. But should there be new anomalies seen by the COA, it will be the Office of the Ombudsman to file new cases.