• Palace vows thorough probe of ‘pork’ scam

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    MALACAÑANG on Wednesday vowed an exhaustive, impartial, and fair investigation of the alleged ‘pork’ scam even if some allies of President Benigno Aquino 3rd have also been linked to the controversy.

    Palace spokesman Edwin Lacierda said “no stone will be left unturned” in the investigation and all evidence will be considered.

    “This travesty will be investigated and we will investigate it no matter where the evidence will lead,” he told reporters. “So wherever we are, wherever we are guided by the evidence, we will pursue that. We will investigate this whole thing from top to bottom,” he added.

    A whistleblower had claimed that the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or “pork barrel” of five senators and 23 members of the House of Representatives was siphoned to bogus non-government organizations. The alleged scam was reportedly the scheme of Janet Lim-Napoles.

    Senate President Franklin Drilon has indicated that the chamber will not conduct an inquiry into the controversy.

    Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago earlier urged the five senators linked to the case—Juan Ponce Enrile, Ferdinand “Bongbong“ Marcos, Jr., Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. and Gregorio Honasan.

    Lacierda said that the Palace will allow the Department of Justice, through the National Bureau of Investigation, to fully investigate the case.

    He said the President instructed Justice Secretary Leila de Lima to ensure that the case “is exhaustively investigated.”

    “Secretary Leila told me that she can assure all parties concerned that this will be exhaustive, impartial and a fair investigation,” Lacierda said.

    Reports of the anomalous use of the pork barrel of lawmakers had triggered call for the abolition of the PDAF. Every year, each senator gets P200 million in ‘pork’ while a member of the House gets P70 million.

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