Friday, May 30, 2014

Government bent on building strong case against those involved in pork barrel scam: Palace May 29, 2014

From the Website of the President

Government bent on building strong case against those involved in pork barrel scam: Palace May 29, 2014
Malacanang on Thursday reiterated that the administration would rather build strong cases rather than hasten the filing of weak lawsuits against those involved in the pork barrel scam.

“The government remains committed to pursuing an evidence-based inquiry and that any legal action will be based on firm and substantiated proof that can pass judicial scrutiny,” Presidential Communication Operations Office Secretary Herminio Coloma, Jr. told Palace reporters.

“The President believes that filing weak cases based on speculation or unsupported by unverified, or supported only by unverified information will be an exercise in futility, as those accused can go scot-free by invoking the principle of double jeopardy,” he said.
The Communication Secretary said that with the proliferation of lists and scenarios surrounding the testimony of the scam’s alleged mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, it is likely that “certain quarters” are muddling the issue. 

“They may be carrying out a strategy of ‘burn the house down’ by implicating as many political personalities as possible, thereby misdirecting the inquiry and dissipating efforts to make those involved accountable before the bar of justice,” Coloma explained.
As for the Cabinet members implicated in the controversy, he said the President has reiterated that “mere allegation does not affect the presumption of regularity in the performance of their current duties.”

Budget Secretary Florencio Abad, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) Secretary Joel Villanueva have been included in Napoles’ list of those involved in the scam.

“There is a need to recognize the right to ‘presumption of innocence’, especially while no concrete proof of wrongdoing has been presented against them,” Coloma said.
“As the President has always emphasized, let the evidence point to the direction of the inquiry and let justice be carried out without fear or favor,” he added. 

Office of the President Website

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