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Duterte links De Lima to Napoles case

President Rodrigo Duterte said he seeks to revisit the case of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles. File photo
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE 1 5:20 p.m.) — The plot thickens.
 
After accusing Sen. Leila de Lima of benefiting from drug money, President Rodrigo Duterte Sunday vowed to disclose “revealing” details about the pork barrel scam case that he said would “horrify” the lawmaker.
 
Duterte said the case of Janet Lim Napoles, the businesswoman tagged as the brains behind the multi-billion peso fund scam, deserves a second look.   
 
“Wait until we revisit the Napoles case, Secretary or Senator De Lima, and I assure you, you will be horrified,” the president said in a press conference in Davao City.
 
“It involves corruption and De Lima,” he added without elaborating.
 
Napoles has been accused of diverting congressional allocations or “pork barrel” to dummy non-government organizations for ghost projects worth more than P10 billion. She has denied the allegations and insisted that all of her earnings came from legitimate means.
 
De Lima was Justice secretary when the investigations into the scam started. 
 
Several officials have been charged in connection with the scam, prodding some groups to question the legality of the pork barrel before the Supreme Court (SC). 
 
The pork barrel, formally known as the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), was declared unconstitutional by the SC in 2013. 
 
According to the court, the PDAF violated the principle of separation of powers because it allowed lawmakers “to wield, in varying gradations, non-oversight, post-enactment authority in vital areas of budget executions.” 

Duterte: I'm just doing my job

Duterte brought up the issue on Napoles after announcing that he would reveal more names of Philippine National Police personnel and senior officials as well as judges involved in anomalies. 
 
He reiterated that he is just doing his job of telling the truth to the Filipino people, which he said he would do throughout his term.
 
Duterte lamented that “a lot of billions and billions of pesos” were lost because of the pork barrel scam. He noted that some lawmakers were placed behind bars only because the accusation against them is non-bailable. Plunder is a non-bailable offense unless the court views the evidence against the accused as weak.
 
“In the meantime, they (lawmakers) are in prison but is not enough vindication for the Filipino people,” Duterte said.
 
Former Sens. Jinggoy Estrada, Bong Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile were detained due to plunder charges in connection with the scam. Enrile, however, was released last year after the Supreme Court granted him bail due to health reasons.
 
Last week, Duterte accused De Lima of having an illicit affair with her married driver, whom, he said, collected drug money to support her senatorial bid this year.
 
De Lima, who has been criticizing the Duterte administration’s anti-drug war, has denied any involvement with narcotics and even claimed that the president would lose face for making such allegation.
 
Duterte said he made the expose because De Lima made herself popular at his expense. He cited De Lima’s effort to link him to the Davao Death Squad, the vigilante group believed to be behind the killing of suspected criminals in the city.
 
“I have to quarrel with you (De Lima). It was you who started this ruckus many years ago,” Duterte said during Sunday's press conference. 
 
“Now that you are at the receiving end of all of these, you should not be heard complaining because there are serious matters already arrayed against you,” he added. — Rosette Adel
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