The Department of Justice has put in the backburner the cases of the third batch of former and incumbent officials linked to the multibillion-peso Priority Development Assistance Fund anomaly in favor of other priorities.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima admitted that the third batch of PDAF cases might not be pursued anymore.
“I don’t know if that will be part of our concentration and focus because there are really very important matters on my table,” De Lima said.
“I also wasn’t able to focus on that anymore because there are more urgent cases that I had to personally attend to,” De Lima said, but she did not mention what are those priorities.
According to her, the NBI probers hit a snag over the third batch when they found out that the signatures of the lawmakers implicated did not match with those found in the pork barrel scam documents.
“But we will still determine how to really go through that in such a way that the case could still be filed,” she said.
De Lima recalled that upon instruction of President Aquino, she wanted to make sure that the third batch of pork barrel fund scam cases “would stick, just like the first two batches.”
The first batch of PDAF-related criminal charges were lodged in September 2013 against 38 individuals, including Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon Revilla Jr, and Jinggoy Estrada, as well as alleged fund scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
The second batch, filed two months later in November 2013, involved graft complaints against former Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon and 33 other public officials over the alleged misuse of “pork barrel” funds.