Ilang senador at kongresista, itinanggi ang umano’y pagkakadawit ng kanilang pangalan sa PDAF scam

admin   •   May 14, 2014   •   5140

FILE PHOTOS: (L-R) Sen. Tito Sotto, Sen. Chiz Escudero, Sen. Koko Pimentel (UNTV News)

FILE PHOTOS: (L-R) Sen. Vicente ‘Tito’ Sotto III, Sen. Francis ‘Chiz’ Escudero, Sen. Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines — Itinanggi ng ilang senador at kongresista ang pagkakasama ng kanilang pangalan sa listahan ng mga sangkot sa pork barrel scam na hawak ni Rehabilitation Czar Panfilo Lacson.

Ayon kay Senador Francis Escudero, ni piso ay wala siyang inalocate na PDAF sa mga bogus na NGO ni Napoles.

Nagtataka rin ang senador kung bakit tila ginagamit pa ang ilang opisyal ng pamahalaan gaya nina Lacson at De Lima upang ilayo ang isyu kay Napoles.

“Iisa lamang siguro, nais niyang manlanse at paguluhin ang buong isyung ito. Ika nga mas maraming idadamay siya, mas maganda siguro…di naantig, kumpiyansa ako.”

Sinabi pa ni Escudero na iisa lang naman ang pinanggalingan ng iba’t ibang listahang lumabas kaya mas maigi na si Napoles mismo ang magsabi kung sinu-sino ang mga nakatransaksyon niya.

“Ang hindi ko lang maintindihan, bakit nagpapagamit ang mga taong binigyan ng listahan? Sila ang nagsasalita imbes na si Napoles ang nagsasalita.”

“Dagdag pa ni Escudero, “Tila tuloy nagiging tagapagsalita, messenger at ahente sila ni Napoles.”

Para naman kay Senator Bongbong Marcos, ayaw niyang magbigay ng pahayag hangga’t hindi inilalabas ng buo ang listahan.

“Antayin na lang natin yung listahan, kung ano man yung nandun, kung kailangang ipaliwanag, ipapaliwanag,” ani Sen. Marcos.

Maging si Senator Vicente Sotto III ay tumanggi na magbigay ng pahayag sa media.

“Ayoko nang magsalita muna tungkol dyan,” matipid na pahayag ng senador.

Tiwala naman si Senador Aquilino ‘Koko’ Pimentel III na hindi siya masasangkot sa scam dahil nauna na nitong tinanggihan si Napoles.

“I’ve met with her but not dealth with her in May 2012 at humingi nga ng project sa PDAF, tinanggihan ko. Kaya if ever may so-called Napoles list, it is bad faith on her part to include me there,” saad nito.

Pinabulanan naman ni Department of Budget and Management Florencio ‘Butch’ Abad na sangkot siya sa pork barrel scam.

Ayon kay Abad, hindi siya kailanman nakipag-ugnayan kay Napoles o kahit sa alinmang pekeng NGO’s sa buong career niya bilang public servant kahit na noong siya ay kongresista pa lamang hanggang sa maging budget secretary.

Dagdag pa nito, ang lahat ng kaniyang sponsored projects noon sa ilalim ng PDAF ay hindi dumaan sa mga fake NGO.

Ayon pa kay Abad, hanggang hindi ipinapakita ang totoong affidavit ni Napoles at masuportahan ng matibay na ebidensya, ang lahat ay pawang
espekulasyon lamang. 

Nananatili namang tahimik ang Mababang Kapulungan ng Kongreso sa isyu.

Una nang sinabi ni House Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. na hindi sila magsasagawa ng parallel investigation sa pork barrel scam.

Hahayaan na lamang anilang ang senado ang maglabas ng pinal na resulta ng imbestigasyon saka sila gagawa ng anumang aksyon oras na may mapatunayang kasalukuyang miyembro ng Kamara na madadawit sa nasabing anomalya.

“Let then bring it up with me and lets talk about it, (will you support?) me? Am not, ’cause am in favor of Senate continuing their investigation, hindi maganda yung there are two bodies doing it,” pahayag ni Belmonte. (Grace Casin / Ruth Navales, UNTV News)

Senate on total closure from January 10 to 16 – Sotto

Robie de Guzman   •   January 7, 2022

MANILA, Philippines ­– The Senate will be closed for a week amid rising COVID-19 infections among its employees, Senate President Vicente Sotto III said Friday.

Citing a report from the Senate Medical Team, Sotto said there are now 46 active COVID positive cases in the upper chamber while 175 employees are under quarantine due to exposure and manifestation of symptoms.

Sotto said these employees are awaiting the result of their COVID-19 swab test.

He also mentioned that five staff of the Medical Bureau are under quarantine, which depleted their workforce and find it hard to attend to the needs of the infected employees.

“Medical has sent a Memo recommending 7 days of total closure of the Senate from January 10 (Monday) to  January 16 (Sunday),” he told reporters.

“They will conduct thorough disinfection and this will lessen contact among employees to prevent or slow down virus transmission,” he added.

Sotto said total closure means no one will be allowed to enter the Senate premises except for those involved in the disinfection process to be conducted on January 8 and January 15.

The House of Representatives earlier announced it has extended the lockdown in its offices until January 16, also due to increasing COVID-19 cases.

 

Latest Pulse Asia survey shows Duterte, Sotto best performing gov’t officials

Robie de Guzman   •   December 31, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte and Senate President Vicente Sotto III are top-performing officials in the country, according to the latest survey released by Pulse Asia.

The survey, conducted from December 1 to 6, 2021, showed that 72% of the respondents approved of Duterte’s performance. This is higher than the 64%approval rating he got in the survey done in September.

Sotto enjoyed a 71% approval in the December survey while House Speaker Lord Allan Velasco and Supreme Court Chief Justice Alexander Gesmundo both scored 31%.

Vice President Leni Robredo got 43% approval in her performance, which is lower than the 48% rating she got in the September survey.

Pulse Asia said the nationwide survey was based on a sample of 2,400 representative adults 18 years old and above.

The pollster said news related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the May 2022 elections dominated the headlines when the survey was held.

These issues include the Davao City Mayor Sara Duterte’s withdrawal of her reelection bid to run for vice president in tandem with presidential aspirant Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Duterte’s allegations that a presidential aspirant is a cocaine user, the declining COVID-19 cases and widening vaccination coverage in the Philippines, the filing of petitions for disqualification for Marcos’ presidential run, and the imposition of travel ban on several nations that detected the Omicron variant.

De Lima seeks reelection in 2022 polls

Robie de Guzman   •   October 8, 2021

MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila De Lima has filed her certificate of candidacy (COC), through an authorized representative, for her reelection bid in the 2022 elections.

De Lima’s spokesperson, Atty. Dino de Leon, filed her COC on Friday on her behalf.

In seeking reelection, De Lima said she wants to restore justice in the next administration and vowed to demand an accounting of President Rodrigo Duterte’s unfulfilled campaign promises.

De Lima, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, has been in detention since 2017 at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center at Camp Crame for her alleged involvement in the narcotics trade.

She has repeatedly denied the drug-related charges against her.

Prior to being elected as senator in 2016, she served as chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and secretary of the Department of Justice.

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