Lawmakers implicated in pork barrel scam should go on leave–priest

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MANILA, July 16, 2013—With the controversy of the P10 billion pork barrel scam implicating some lawmakers, a Catholic priest said he is in favor by the suggestion of a female senator that those accused should go on leave out of delicadeza.

Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago earlier said in a news report, that lawmakers who are accused of misusing their pork barrel or the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) should go on leave and an independent panel should investigate the alleged wrongdoing.

Fr. Edu Gariguez, executive secretary of CBCP’s National Secretariat for Social Action (NASSA) pointed out that the pork barrel should have been scrapped a long time ago.

“With the P 10-billion pesos on the loose, even the Commission on Audit (COA) cannot trace it. The lawmakers’ PDAF must be scrapped. Also with this amount of money lost, there is no assurance that the remaining money for the pork barrel will be secured for public usage,” Gariguez said in a chance interview during a Church-forum today.

Gariguez suggested that this issue should be discussed on the upcoming State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Benigno Aquino III.

“The president should talk about this in his SONA, that it should be scrapped because it should not be given to lawmakers in Congress but to line agencies,” he said.

“Pork barrel leads to large scale corruption, imagine it’s 10-billion pesos. There should be a drastic measure to address this problem and it should come from the executive branch,” Gariguez added.

He reiterated that lawmakers who are involved should go on leave until the probe is over in order not to taint the proceedings against them. (Jandel Posion)

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