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Gordon open to re-investigation of PDAF scam if there’s new evidence

Sen. Richard Gordon on Sunday said he is willing to re-open the investigation on the pork barrel scam, but only if new evidence will surface regarding the scandal. 

Gordon, who heads the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee, said that setting a requirement for a re-investigation could save the chamber precious time amid other legislative priorities at hand.

“Well, kung may ebidensya na bago na papasok, I will investigate. Pero ‘di naman ako papasok basta-basta kasi nasasayang rin ang oras, wala pa tayong nakikitang ebidensya,” he told Nimfa Ravelo over radio dzBB.

“‘Pag meron na tayong nakita na talagang pwedeng imbestigahan ... ipagpapatuloy natin ‘yan," he added.

The possibility was raised after the Court of Appeals acquitted alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles in the serious illegal detention case involving her former aid and relative, Benhur Luy.

Napoles, who is still facing plunder charges, is being eyed as a state witness for possible criminal charges on new cases involving the misuse of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). 

The businesswoman, who has been transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City following the CA decision, earlier promised to divulge more names of government officials that supposedly benefited from the scam.

Gordon said that the re-investigation (should it happen), might also look beyond the fake non-government organizations (NGOs) that Napoles put up to siphon off some lawmakers' PDAF in exchange for millions of pesos in kickbacks.

A re-investigation might also include other people  who were identified by the Commission on Audit’s special audit report.

On the other hand, he noted that the investigation on the matter initiated by previous administration had been “partisan.”

“May alam kasi ako, nabalitaan ko, kasi may kaibigan ako… Nu’ng dinala si Napoles sa Malacañang, may sinabing mga personalities doon na ‘di isinama. In short, naging partisan ‘yung imbestigasyon. ‘Yun ang problema ko doon,” the senator said.

“Hangga’t maaari ayokong pakialaman, pero kung may lumabas na bago, anong magagawa ko?”

Aside from Napoles, former Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., and Juan Ponce Enrile were also charged and detained for plunder and graft charges in relation to the PDAF scam. 

Enrile, now 93, was granted provisional liberty in 2015 after posting a bail of P1.45 million. He had filed the petition to post bail, citing his advanced age and voluntary surrender to the Sandiganbayan anti-graft court. —LBG, GMA News