• Independent People’s Commission to probe pork scam pushed


    Rep. Joselito “Lito” Atienza of Buhay party list on Tuesday pushed for the creation of an independent People’s Commission that will conduct a top-to-bottom investigation into the pork barrel scam.

    Atienza said the Commission will be headed by retired justices of the Supreme Court (SC) and will also be composed of experts in their field of specialization.

    In justifying his call, Atienza said the Commission would cast any doubt that the probe on pork barrel scam will favor some allies of the administration who were dragged into the controversy.

    An inter-agency panel composed of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of the Ombudsman and the Commission on Audit (COA) is currently investigating the P10 billion pork barrel fund misuse purportedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

    “I will introduce a law creating the People’s Commission that would be composed of retired chief justices, experts in their own field, and lawyers,” Atienza told the Bulong Pulungan forum.

    He said the people should be involved in the investigation since corruption already became endemic as it reached the lowest political structure of the government, the barangay.

    “The pork barrel syndrome has gone down to the barangay level, it became endemic already,” he lamented.

    He likewise urged President Benigno Aquino 3rd to issue a letter to Congress signifying his intention of withdrawing the lump sum appropriation of funds intended for lawmakers in the 2014 proposed budget.

    “The fastest way for the President to abolish the pork barrel is thru this letter addressed to Congress,” he added.

    Once the President issued the letter, Atienza explained, Congress would automatically delete the provisions for lump sum appropriation in the 2014 proposed budget.

    “Only a letter from the President and pork barrel will be abolished in the 2014 national budget,” he added.

    However, the party list solon supported the stand of President Aquino not to abolish his discretionary fund.

    “The President should have his pork barrel. The executive should have discretionary fund, they are the ones entitled for this fund,” he added. RITCHIE A. HORARIO


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