• Palace: Charges filed vs. TESDA chief should douse suspicions the gov’t is protecting allies

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    Malacanang maintained on Monday that no one, including allies of President Benigno Aquino 3rd himself, will be spared in the ongoing investigation into the P10-billion pork barrel scam.

    Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda made the statement in a Palace media briefing in reaction to endless suspicions that the Aquino administration is protecting its allies.

    “…We have always stated that, again, (we go) where the evidence leads us,” Lacierda said, adding that the Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to conduct its investigation.

    At present, there are reportedly at least 19 incumbent congressmen and nine former congressmen related to incumbents who are allies of the President.

    Lacierda said the fact that one of President Aquino’s allies — Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva — has been implicated in the pork barrel scam is enough proof that even allies are not spared.

    “The fact that we already have an ally…who have cases that (have) been filed against him…that should douse any suspicion or fear that this government is set to protect its allies,” he stressed.

    Lacierda noted that Villanueva has already submitted his signatures to the Questioned Documents section of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

    “He particularly stated that…he is willing to be investigated, and we certainly welcome the statement of Secretary Joel Villanueva,” he added. PNA

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