Justice department to verify pork suspects’ SAROs

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THE Department of Justice (DOJ) has collected the Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) of lawmakers accused of pouring their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel into non-government organizations (NGOs) owned or controlled by Janet Lim-Napoles.

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“We already got the SAROs pertaining to the projects of the senators on the list of Mrs. Napoles, so we’re just evaluating and verifying more details from the implementing agencies concerned,” Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said.

Three senators have been charged with plunder and graft for allegedly getting kickbacks from projects funded by the pork barrel—Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada.

De Lima, however, admitted that SAROs cannot be considered conclusive proof of the liability of the lawmakers.

The documents will be double-checked and verified by the National Bureau of Investigation.

“It doesn’t confirm yet or it’s not yet a proof that these senators indeed had dealt with Napoles. These SAROs are just proofs that these senators used their PDAF. But as to whether these funds went to the NGOs of Napoles, we still have to verify,” de Lima said.

“This is really such a gigantic task because the projects involved are from various years.
There are those from way, way back while there are also recent ones,” she added.

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