Senate may reinvestigate pork barrel scam

admin   •   May 12, 2017   •   3054

MANILA — Sen. Francis Escudero will wait until July before urging the Senate to reinvestigate the multi-billion pork barrel scam.

Sen. Escudero said he will first make way for the investigation being conducted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on the case.

He said more things need to surface from the PDAF scam where Napoles revealed a list which includes several lawmakers.

“Iyong dumaan kay Ginang Napoles ay anim na bilyon lamang. May higit anim na bilyon pa ang hindi natalakay, hindi tinatalakay at noong naghi-hearing palang… hiniling ko na ituloy doon sa parteng iyon na hindi na nabigyan ng pansin ng Senado o ng DOJ,” Senator Escudero said. (Only P6-billion passed through the hands of Mrs. Napoles. More than P6-billion more has not been discussed during the previous hearings. I requested for the continuation of discussions on the part overlooked by the Senate or DOJ.)

Because of the PDAF scam, Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada and other involved personalities were charged and imprisoned.

“Hindi lang naisali noong araw siguro kaya tinitingnan uli. Dahil kung talagang hindi naisama, meron naman ebidensya. Kasi ang lakas ng padinig namin noong araw eh na may mga sinabing pangalan eh pero hindi sinama,”  said Senator Richard Gordon.

(It was not included before so it should be looked into again. If indeed it was not included, there is evidence. We strongly asserted before there were names mentioned but were not included.)

The Senate Blue Ribbon committee chaired by Senator Gordon may again conduct a probe. However, new evidence must be presented before the reinvestigation. — Joyce Balancio | UNTV News & Rescue

Senate asks DOJ for protection of witnesses vs. ‘ninja cops’

Maris Federez   •   October 17, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – The Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on Wednesday (Oct. 16) requested the Department of Justice (DOJ) to give protection to the witnesses in the Agaw-Bato operations of the so-called “ninja cops”.

In a phone interview, Blue Ribbon Committee chairman Sen. Richard Gordon said they want to ensure that the testimonies of the witnesses are filed before the Court.

“[It] means that they will go to the court and they will execute an affidavit there. And in which case, if anything happens, hopefully not, that will be admissible in court,” Gordon added.

Among the witnesses that Gordon was referring to were the barangay officials that Johnson Lee sought help from when he was arrested in the police buy-bust operation in November 2010 in the province of Pampanga.

Other witnesses were the police personnel in Mexico, Pampanga, where the alleged cover-up took place when the barangay officials brought Lee to the station.

Lee reportedly paid P50-M to the police for his release.

After releasing Lee, the police arrested another Chinese suspect.

Gordon said they will leave it to the DOJ to determine whether these officers deserve to be under the government’s witness protection program (WPP).

The senator also said they will let Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, retired police Rudy Lacadin, and the other police officers decide if they want to undergo the said process.

Justice Sec. Guevarra said they shall await the Senate’s formal request before they set into action.

Meanwhile, Gordon said they will try their best to complete the committee report on their investigation on the said illegal operation in the police force.

The Blue Ribbon Committee chairman said that included in the report are the possible recommendations as to who must be held liable on the said illegal activity.

He stressed that resigned-Philippine National Police (PNP) chief PGen. Oscar Albayalde will still be facing charges relative to the said controversy.

“Tanungin ninyo ako kung pwede pa siyang kasuhan (Ask me if he can be charged). The answer is yes. Tanungin ninyo ko kung criminal. (Ask me if it’s a criminal [case]).  The answer could be yes, kung may enough evidence kami (if we have enough evidence). And I think we do,” Gordon said. (from the report of Nel Maribojoc) /mbmf

DOJ begins reinvestigation on 2013 drug raid

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 16, 2019

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra

The Department of Justice has begun reinvestigation of the 2013 Pampanga drug raid involving 13 cops allegedly involved in illegal drug recycling.

The 13 cops were ordered to attend the investigation and submit additional evidence.

DOJ Secretary Menardo Guevarra previously formed a three-member panel to reinvestigate the case where around 160 kilos of suspected illegal drugs were seized during an operation in Pampanga.

The Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG), meanwhile, requested the DOJ panel for more time to submit records about alleged drug lord Johnson Lee and Ding Wengkun.

The DOJ panel will give the PNP-CIDG five days to submit additional evidence and supplemental affidavit.

Meanwhile, PMaj. Rodney Baloyo was given a subpoena by the DOJ for not attending the preliminary investigation.

Baloyo is currently at New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa after the Senate cited him in contempt for allegedly lying during a hearing.

“We still issued subpoena to the said respondent and even wrote a letter to the Senate president asking permission for him to be allowed in this proceedings,” according to state prosecutor Senior Assistant Atty. Alexander Suarez. —AAC (with reports from April Cenedoza)

Villanueva pushes for grassroots approach to develop Filipino athletes

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 15, 2019

Senator Joel Villanueva

Senator Joel Villanueva said there is a need for a grassroots approach in order to develop Filipino athletes.

In a statement, the senator said the lack of organization at the grassroots level prevents our national sports associations from getting the athletes who can be trained to compete in the long term.

“Talent is scattered everywhere in our 7,000 islands, and it is up to us in government to be able to find these people and cultivate their skills so they can carry on with our quest to deliver the country’s first Olympic gold in over 90 years since we first competed in the Games,” Villanueva said.

Villanueva made the statement after the recent wins of gymnast Carlos Yulo and boxer Nesthy Petecio over the weekend.

READ: PSC to provide cash incentives to athletes Yulo, Petecio, Marcial et al

Meanwhile, Villanueva and other senators continue to push for the proposed bill that will create the Philippine High School for Sports. It is an institution that will raise the quality of our young athletes which will make them competitive in the world stage.

“We will see to it that the proposed measure will live up to the dreams of our young athletes of having a specialized school that trains our future champions,” according to Villanueva.—AAC

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