Escudero on pork: Start filing cases

MANILA—To put a stop to all the speculations, the Department of Justice and the Ombudsman should begin filing charges against those responsible for the P10-billion pork barrel scam, Sen. Francis Escudero said on Saturday.

Given the speculations set off by Janet Lim-Napoles’ expanded affidavit and Benhur Luy’s files, Escudero said it would be prudent for the Senate blue ribbon committee to resume public hearings on the scam and bring closure to the scandal.

Napoles’ return to her detention cell in a police training camp in Santa Rosa, Laguna province, after her confinement at Ospital ng Makati for hysterectomy should be a signal for the committee to reopen the inquiry, Escudero said in an interview on radio dwIZ.

But more important, Escudero said, the justice department and the Ombudsman should start filing charges against all those responsible for the scam so they could be tried and punished.

“They should start filing charges. Let those who are guilty be jailed, and let those who are accused defend themselves, otherwise we get stuck with the gossip, innuendoes, and speculations,” Escudero said.

In her expanded affidavit, Napoles named 20 senators and 100 members of the House of Representatives as having dealt with her and benefited from the scam.

Luy’s files, which were based on his financial records of Napoles’ transactions with lawmakers, identified 25 senators, and more than a hundred House members.

Napoles claimed that she contributed to Escudero’s presidential campaign fund in 2010, a claim belied by the senator who withdrew from the race and backed the candidacies of now President Aquino and Vice President Jejomar Binay.