MANILA, Philippines – Fresh pork scam charges will be slapped on opposition senators Antonio Trillanes, Leila de Lima, and Franklin Drilon and former Budget chief Florencio Abad by Janet Lim-Napoles.
This was disclosed on Monday, May 29, by Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, who said the camp of the alleged pork barrel scam queen would soon file the complaints against the four before the DOJ.
“Nakausap ko na po actually ang kanyang lawyer. Ang sabi niya, in a few days, maglalabas na sila ng kaukulang habla at ipa-file ata nila iyon sa DOJ,” Aguirre said in a phone interview with ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda.
“Mga ilang personalities po, talagang prominent personalities po na involved sa PDAF scam ang uunahin nila… Ang mga nabanggit niyang personalities noong nakaraang administrasyon ay sina Secretary Abad, parang kasama rin si Senator Trillanes, Senator De Lima at [former] Senate president Drilon,” added Aguirre.
[Some personalities, they will prioritize prominent personalities involved in the Priority Development Assistance Fund scam…The personalities she mentioned during the previous administration are Secretary Abad and it appears that Senator Trillanes, Senator De Lima and former Senate president Drilon are also included.]
Trillanes on Monday denied any involvement in the multibillion-peso pork racket, adding that he was never on the list of public officials allegedly involved in the scam that Napoles submitted to the DOJ four years ago.
“I categorically deny any involvement in any irregularity regarding PDAF, DAP (Disbursement Acceleration Program) or any government funds, for that matter,” the senator said.
“I was never even mentioned in any of the so-called Napoles lists provided during the height of the investigations in 2013,” he added.
Trillanes also accused Aguirre of “using his office to persecute and harass members of the opposition by fabricating testimonies from dubious convicts or detainees such as the Bilibid drug lords, Kerwin Espinosa and now Napoles.”
Napoles allegedly mentioned the name of former budget secretary Florencio B. “Butch” Abad, describing him as her ‘mentor”.
For his part, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre remarked: “In the event that there are two accused, of almost the same level of guilt but the other one is the mentor or instigator, it will be the instigator who should be deemed more guilty.”
Senator Franklin Drilon, on the other hand, had this to say: “I vehemently deny any insinuation by the Secretary of Justice that I was involved in any wrongdoing regarding the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). Any allegation that I misused public funds or that I coursed it through Napoles or any bogus non-government organization at any point is a blatant lie.
“This is outright black propaganda and political harassment intended to silence the members of the opposition.
“The intention is obvious from the personalities being linked. Who are the targets of this administration? Former President Benigno Aquino, former Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Senator Sonny Trillanes, detained Senator Leila De Lima, and myself. If this is not revenge, I don’t know what it is.”
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