FIVE incumbent senators and four former members of the Senate implicated in the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam are being investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), an official of the bureau said on Tuesday.
Rodante Berou, chief of the NBI’s Special Operations Group, made the admission when he took the witness stand on Tuesday during a bail hearing of former Masbate Rep. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete at the Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division. Lanete is the incumbent governor of Masbate.
Berou said being investigated by the bureau are Senators Alan Peter Cayetano, Pia Cayetano, Gregorio Honasan, Manuel Lapid, Loren Legarda, former senators Edgardo Angara, Rodolfo Biazon, Ramon Magsaysay and Richard Gordon and Batanes Rep. Henedina Abad, wife of Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
The NBI official said the names of the lawmakers were included in the Commission on Audit’s (COA) special audit report on the use of lawmakers’ PDAF allocation from 2007 to 2009.
The COA said based on the report, the lawmakers have possible “anomalous transactions regarding the implementation of soft projects.”
Berou did not disclose details of the investigation.
Lanete is facing a P108-million plunder case in connection with the PDAF scam. She is detained at a Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP) facility in Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City (Metro Manila).
Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. belonged to the first batch of lawmakers who were charged with plunder for their allegedly irregular use of their pork allocation.
The Supreme Court allowed Enrile to post bail for health reasons but Estrada and Revilla are still held at the Philippine National Police detention center at Camp Crame in Quezon City.