Ombusman Carpio-Morales claims receiving threats in relation to 'pork' probe

August 31, 2013 9:26 am 

MANILA, Aug. 30 — The national graft buster on Friday disclosed that she has been receiving death threats following an independent fact-finding probe being conducted by her agency into the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam.

However, despite the threats, she vowed to run after everyone, including allies of the President who may have been involved in the controversy.

In a chance interview before her budget presentation at the House Appropriations committee, Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales said her secretary received a telephone call in her office around 1 pm. She failed to mention if it is a man or a woman who is on the other end of the line who told her secretary to tell her to slow down in her investigation.

“Someone wanted to scare me who told my secretary that I should go slow in this pork barrel scam. I have always done what I thought is right and not. The number is now being validated by the intelligence section of Malacanang because my security is fast and they are the ones who alerted Malacanang about this,” Morales told reporters adding that the threat is related to the purported priority development fund (PDAF) or pork barrel funds scam.

She said she had gone in this scenario several times and, “Excuse me, I am not scared. Maybe they are scared that is why they are trying to scare me.”

”That’s what I’ve heard. It has to do with PDAF, so sabi ko sinong tinakot nila? Excuse me, sila ang dapat matakot,” Morales said as she cautioned people involved in the scam.

“Ang sabi raw niya (caller) mag-ingat-ingat siya (Morales),” Morales said, adding that she was not in her office when the threat was relayed to her secretary.

The Office of the Ombudsman is also part of the Inter-AgencyAnti-Graft Coordinating Council (IAAGCC) tasked to investigate the pork barrel scam.

IAAGCC is composed of the Department of Justice (DoJ), the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Commission on Audit (CoA), the Department of Finance (DoF), the Office of the President (OP), and the Civil Service Commission (SCS).

Morales assured the public that the fact-finding probe will not spare even allies of President Aquino if this reaches preliminary investigation.

“The fact of being an ally or not an ally will not be factored in the investigation of the case. Sorry na lang kung it turns out ally nga ang naka-indict, that’s my mandate,” she warned.

Morales also said that her office is still awaiting the report of the NBI.

Morales clarified that her agency is just conducting a fact-finding inquiry and will not yet touch on the possible involvement of lawmakers.

“No, we are not talking of congressmen. We are only conducting a fact-finding investigation. Until we are firm in our findings that congressmen or senators are involved, they will not be subjected to the investigation,” Morales said.

She clarified that the arrest of Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the supposed scam, will not determine the pace of the probe.

“I don’t think her arrest will speed up the investigation. The pace of the probe will go on its natural cause and it is not dependent on the arrest of Napoles,” Morales said.

The COA’s three-year special audit report showed that P6.156 billion of pork barrel funds of 12 senators and 180 congressmen all went to 82 non-government organizations (NGOs), ten of which are linked to Napoles who allegedly got P2.1 billion.

The COA’s special audit report on the PDAF and various infrastructure including local projects (VILP) fund releases from 2007 to 2009 for projects identified by legislators was only made public amid reports on Napoles’ scheme.

The pork barrel controversy stemmed from the transactions of the group led by Napoles, tagged as the alleged brains by estranged associates Benhur Ly and Merlina Suñas behind the alleged syndicate funneling congressional allocations to bogus NGOs. (PNA)

FPV/SAMMY F. MARTIN

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