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President backs ‘pork barrel’ probe

For the sake of uncovering the whole truth, “not the slanted” or “doctored truth,” President Duterte is throwing his full support behind the reopening of a congressional inquiry into the “pork barrel” fund scam.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the President is also keen on bringing to justice those involved in the fund misuse regardless of their political affiliation.

“The plan to conduct a new Senate investigation into the pork barrel scam involving Ms. Janet Lim Napoles is the prerogative of our lawmakers,” Abella said.

“PRRD in fact has publicly said that he wants to revisit it. The President wants the truth to finally come out and hold those involved, regardless of political color on party line, accountable,” he said.

Abella said the Filipino people “deserve to know the truth in this case, not the slanted truth nor the doctored truth.”

Sen. Francis Joseph G. Escudero earlier proposed the revival of the Senate inquiry into the pork barrel fund scam to hold accountable other personalities involved in the fund misuse. He said the government should not be like past administrations that only targeted their predecessors, adding the investigation must be done whether a friend or foe.

The proposed revival of the pork barrel fund scam probe comes days after the Court of Appeals acquitted suspected mastermind Napoles of serious illegal detention charges.

The President recently said Napoles will remain in jail since she still faces plunder cases filed against her.

Duterte, however, refused to declare if Napoles is being considered a state witness following her acquittal from serious illegal detention case. One of the requirements to become a state witness is the person must be the least guilty of the crime, he said.

Asked if he considers Napoles as the least guilty in the pork barrel fund scam, the President said he could not make any comment since the case is pending in court.

“We lawyers are always advised never to comment because – lalo na ako President – I will be liable for contempt and I might be arrested,” he said. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)