• TESDA chief is Palace’s sacrificial lamb – senators

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    MALACAñANG is just using Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Director General Joel Villanueva as a “sacrificial lamb” to convince the public that the administration has no sacred cows in the multibillion-peso pork barrel fund scam, lawmakers said on Monday.

    Reacting to reports that Villanueva will be included in the third batch of pork barrel-related cases to be filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ), Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada said there are many other administration allies who were not charged.

    “What kind of investigation are they (government) doing? Why only Villanueva? What happened to the case of Gonzales who assigned his office to be the one that will implement his PDAF (priority development assistance fund)?” Estrada said.

    He was referring to Mandaluyong Rep. Neptali “Boyet” Gonzales who was among the legislators the Commission on Audit (COA) linked to irregularities in the use of pork barrel funds.

    Estrada said the inclusion of Villanueva is just a ruse to convince the people that the administration is only targeting members of the opposition.

    “I stand by my belief that there is selective justice. There are those who were not included,” he added.

    Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr., is also wondering why Budget Secretary Florencio Abad and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala were spared by the DOJ.

    Revilla said the names of Abad and Alcala appear repeatedly on the list of Janet Lim-Napoles and in the files of whistleblower Benhur Luy, but the DOJ did not even investigate them.

    If the government is really serious in fighting corruption, it should order an investigation of those who were mentioned in the report of COA, Napoles’ list and Luy’s files, Revilla pointed out.

    Aside from Villanueva, Sen. Gringo Honasan is also expected to be in the third batch of cases.

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