The Office of the Ombudsman can proceed with its investigation into allegations about Sen. Ramon “Bong” Revilla’s involvement in the pork barrel scam after the Supreme Court rejected his petition to stop the probe.
Revilla had asked the Court for a temporary restraining order against the investigation. Instead, the Court’s Third Division directed the Ombudsman and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to comment on the senator’s petition within 10 days.
Revilla is one of several lawmakers accused of releasing part of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel to questionable non-government organizations (NGOs) owned by Janet Lim Napoles.
Supreme Court spokesman Theodore Te said the Court issued the resolution “without necessarily giving due course” to Revilla’s petition.
Revilla has denied having any transaction with Napoles, insisting that his signature on documents releasing his pork barrel to the NGOs was forged.
Two other senators—Juan Ponce Enrile and Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada—are facing plunder charges for allegedly getting commissions from projects funded by their PDAF.
The Senate blue ribbon committee is holding its own inquiry into the pork barrel scheme.
On Thursday, Estrada said he is not expecting the committee to come up with a “fair” report on its investigation, and he can’t do anything about it once the majority members of the Senate sign the report.
Estrada said he would have to face the charges in court in case the committee recommends the filing charges against him, Enrile and Revilla.
“Was it fair when they conducted hearings before? Was it fair when the chairman of the Blue Ribbon Committee already made a conclusion? Was it fair for other senators to use that forum at our own expense? You maybe the judge,” Estrada said.
Estrada scored the way some members of the blue ribbon panel behaved during past committee hearings.
He cited the statements of committee chairman Teofisto Guingona 3rd after hearing the testimony of socialite Ruby Tuason, in which he said Guingona had prejudged him as guilty of accepting kickbacks from his PDAF.
Tuason had testified that she personally delivered the kickbacks at Estrada’s Senate office and his residence in San Juan City.
Guingona accepted Tuason’s statement as gospel truth and came up with his own conclusion, Estrada said.
“That hearing was supposed to be in aid of legislation but what happened was that it is in aid of 2016 elections,” Estrada added.
The senator also said he is expecting the worst once the Ombudsman begins to hear the plunder case “because of the trial by publicity, the publicity generated by this so-called scam, they might give in.
He said he has no idea what charges would be filed against him if the Ombudsman brings the case before the Sandiganbayan.