Independent Minority bloc seeks to create body to probe PDAF scam

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Published : Sunday, May 11, 2014 00:00

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THE House Independent Minority bloc led by Leyte Rep. Ferdinand Martin Romualdez has filed a measure seeking to create a special body that will look into all the irregularities of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
The main author Buhay Party-list Rep. Lito Atienza said an Independent Commission is now needed following the disclosure of all these mess involving PDAF or pork barrel.
“We filed this bill in response to the people’s clamor for a speedier investigation into the PDAF scam,” Atienza said, adding that House Bill 4345 will relieve innocent members of the House and Senate.
Atienza said there is  a continuing buck-passing and seeming avoidance of the truth.
The proposed Independent Commission will investigate the alleged abuses from the time the pork barrel system was created during the 8th Congress in 1987 up to the present 16th Congress.
The bill states that the Commission shall be composed of seven members to be appointed by President Aquino coming from the ranks of retired Supreme Court Justices.
“This relieves the Senate and the House of Representatives, many members of which have been implicated in the pork barrel scandal, from investigating itself, thus allaying fears of a possible whitewash. These retired Supreme Court Justices’ integrity is beyond reproach and the people can be assured that they would conduct the investigation without any political or personal considerations,” Atienza added.
According to Atienza, with an Independent Commission buckling down to work, the public is assured of a speedy resolution of this issue.
In this way, Atienza said, the government can focus on the more pressing issues and daily concerns, like the impending water and energy problems, poverty , peace and order situation and others that require a concerted effort to effectively solve them.
The Commission will also make timely recommendations to avoid future occurrences of the same abuses.
“If we handle this scandalous abuse of public office and wanton raiding of public coffers  and guilty parties are punished, we would come out a stronger democracy, without which, the very foundations of our institutions will continue to be damaged. With this Commission, we are assured of the truth coming out, the guilty being punished and the innocent absolved,” Atienza stressed.


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