SENATE Minority Leader Franklin Drilon on Monday branded attempts to link him and other current and former government officials to the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel scam as an act of vengeance.
Drilon at the same time denied any involvement in alleged misuse of the PDAF or having funneled government funds to businesswoman Janet Lim- Napoles and her bogus non-government organizations (NGOs).
“I vehemently deny any insinuation by the Secretary of Justice that I was involved in any wrongdoing regarding the Priority Development Assistance Fund. Any allegation that I misused public funds or that I coursed [them]through Napoles or any bogus non-government organization at any point is a blatant lie,” the Senate minority leader said.
Drilon was reacting to a statement of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd about possible filing of charges against him and former President Benigno Aquino 3rd, former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th and detained Sen. Leila de Lima in connection with the PDAF controversy.
Aguirre’s statement, according to the senator, is outright black propaganda and political harassment intended to silence members of the opposition.
“If this is not revenge, I don’t know what it is,” Drilon said, adding that he would respond at the proper time and in the proper venue to Aguirre’s planned move.
Trillanes also denied participation in any irregularity regarding the use of PDAF, or any government funds.
He said his name was not even mentioned in any of the so-called Napoles lists provided at the height of investigations of the scam in 2013.
Like Drilon, Trillanes expressed belief that Aguirre has been using his office to persecute and harass members of the opposition. JEFERSON ANTIPORDA