THE Senate Blue Ribbon committee should come up with a partial report on the pork barrel scam so that it can start its inquiry into the P900-million Malampaya fund mess, Senate majority leader Alan Peter Cayetano said on Wednesday.
Cayetano earlier filed a resolution directing the panel to look into allegations that the Malampaya funds were also funneled to bogus non-governmental organizations (NGOs) owned by Janet Lim-Napoles.
The resolution also directs the committee to determine the involvement of some government officials, particularly in the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), in the controversy.
Cayetano noted that the people have the right to know how the funds intended for farmers affected by Typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009, ended up in the pockets of corrupt individuals and government officials.
“This is another atrocity that has been committed against the Filipino people who are still in outrage over the P10-billion pork barrel scandal. We have to know those responsible and have them punished,” the senator said.
The blue ribbon committee is still evaluating testimonies and evidence it gathered during its inquiry.
Sen. Teofisto Guingona 3rd, who chairs the panel, said the committee has not yet decided to tackle the Malampaya fund scam because it has not concluded the “pork” inquiry.
So far, the panel has held nine hearings and heard the testimonies of various witnesses and personalities allegedly involved in the anomaly.
Guingona has ruled out holding hearings while Congress is in recess, which means that the next hearing may be in May or after the opening of the second legislative session in July.
Congress will resume session on May 5 and adjourn sine die on June 14.
The panel may invite Rhodora Mendoza and Victor Roman Cacal, former officials of the National Agri-Business Corp. (Nabcor) in the next hearing.