Ryan Ponce Pacpaco
May 12


HOUSE independent minority bloc leader and Leyte Rep. Ferdinand
Martin Romualdez urged Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. to help
address the “reputation crisis” being faced by the Senate and the
House of Representatives by calling Justice Sec. Leila de Lima and
businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles into a congressional hearing or
question hour to disclose the full details of the latter’s “tell-all”

Romualdez said Belmonte can call an all-party caucus to discuss the
matter as he urged him to reconsider his position not to conduct a
parallel pork probe in the House of Representatives regarding the P10
billion pork barrel scam.

“We also hope the House leadership will call for a caucus or
spearhead the reputation crisis which has plagued the House by the
non-disclosure of the names of congressmen reportedly in the list.  We
in the independent minority bloc can no longer take the cloud of
suspicion which continues to hang over the heads of all the members of
the House because of the sustained refusal of Sec. De Lima to reveal
the list to the public,” Romualdez pointed out as he reiterated his
condemnation to the continued selective political persecution against
administration critics.

“Kung hindi nila sasabihin ang list, huwag na silang magsalita kasi
lalo lamang gumugulo,” he said after President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino
III claimed that Napoles allegedly gave three lists, one to him,
another one to de Lima and one more to Lacson.

“Ako naniniwala na marami sa Kongreso ang wala talagang kinalaman
dito, pero dahil walang investigation at clarifications dito,
nasasangkot ang lahat,” Romualdez stressed. “Sa ngayon ang tingin ng
tao sa congressman pork barrel king or pork barrel queen or crook.
Noong wala pang Napoles, mababa na ang tingin ng mga tao sa
politicians, ngayon lalong nabaon.”

He warned that the continued delay in the release of names could be
misconstrued as an attempt by the Aquino administration to blackmail
lawmakers into supporting their priority measures especially the
Bangsamoro juridical entity which has yet to be filed at the House of

In the same press conference, Buhay Hayaang Yumabong party-list Rep.
Lito Atienza said Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and
Recovery Sec. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson should reveal his list because
keeping it secret will even contribute more to the collapse of the

“In this case the whole institution is being brought down, the
foundations of democracy are being eaten. Sinabi ni Sen. Lacson baka
mag-collapse ang Senado, aba magko-collapse ang Senado kapag hindi
inilabas ang listahan dahil iyung termites kakagat ng kakagat at
hihina ng hihina ang foundation, ang taong may sakit alisin dapat
lahat ng mikrobyo, tamaan ang sinomang tatamaan. It is a national
security kapag hindi inilabas kasi it is weakening the institution,”
Atienza stressed.

But Cavite Rep. Elpidio “Pidi” Barzaga Jr., the House head of the
National Unity Party (NUP), maintained it would not look good if
congressmen will investigate the matter where many of their colleagues
have been implicated.

“Personally, kung sakaling kami ang mag-iimbestiga at sa dami ng mga
congressmen na sinasabi nila na involved sa pork barrel, sa tingin ko
our investigation will not be credible. Anoman ang maging conclusion,
may banggitin man na mga kasamahan namin na involved sa pork barrel,
baka sabihin ng ating mga kababayan ay hindi kumpleto,” said Barzaga,
a veteran lawyer.

Earlier, ‎de Lima confirmed that apart from Sens. Juan Ponce Enrile,
Jinggoy “Jose” Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., who are facing plunder
complaints before the Office of the Ombudsman, there were additional
names mentioned by Napoles in her affidavit, where she revealed the
involvement of lawmakers in the fund anomaly.

Lacson claimed that there were at least 12 senators in the list
provided to him by the husband of Napoles, Jimmy, that formed part of
a draft affidavit they prepared in relation to the pork barrel

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