SENATOR Leila de Lima on Monday said there is no need to reopen the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) controversy involving businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles and several public officials and branded the move as another diversionary tactic in an effort to derail the Senate investigation of the rising number of extrajudicial killings.
President Rodrigo Duterte during a news conference on Sunday morning said the Napoles case deserves a second look as it also “involves corruption and de Lima.”
According to the President, he has some “revealing things” to say about the Napoles case but he did not elaborate.
“I’d like to think that it’s another diversionary tactic being employed in an effort to possibly block or derail the Senate inquiry,” said de Lima, the secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) at the height of the PDAF or pork barrel controversy.
Like the allegation linking her to the illegal drug trade, the senator noted that the Napoles case is another old and rehashed issue being linked to her.
“Just like the alleged drug connection in my involvement in drugs, I flatly, vehemently and categorically deny any irregularity on my part in any of the matters affecting the Napoles and the PDAF case,” she said in a television interview.
The senator added that the President did not even specify or explain why there is a need for a second look at the Napoles case, indicating, she said, that it is another squid and diversionary tactic.
De Lima said that even with the various efforts to block and divert the Senate inquiry, she remains focused on the real issue at hand–the alleged summary executions happening in the country.
Plunder charges have been filed against several lawmakers including three senators for allegedly misusing their annual PDAF fund allocation.
Then-senator Juan Ponce Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., were ordered arrested and detained by the Sandiganbayan, including Napoles.
At present, Estrada and Revilla are detained at Camp Crame in Quezon City while Enrile was ordered release by the Supreme Court for humanitarian reasons.