Romualdez laments House failure to probe Napoles
Published : Friday, June 13, 2014 00:00
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THE House independent minority bloc expressed disappointment yesterday over the failure of the House leadership to conduct a congressional investigation into the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by Janet Lim-Napoles.
Leyte (1st District) Rep. Ferdinand Martin “FM” G. Romualdez, the bloc head, said the issue remains unclosed because lawmakers were not given the chance to dig deeper into the matter despite the implication of some of their colleagues in the scam.
“As we adjourn sine die, we are saddened by the thought that the reputations of some of our colleagues remain suspect for their supposed involvement in the scam,” Romualdez said.
In response, Belmonte maintained that his leadership would not investigate the pork barrel scam, saying the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Ombudsman have the mandate to probe and file the necessary charges before the Sandiganbayan.
Belmonte said the House of Representatives would not want to duplicate what the Senate blue ribbon committee has been doing in their investigation.
“Hindi naman sa hindi kami interesado. Nandoon na, hini-hear na nila (senators). Ihi-hear pa ba namin dito? No because we will just be wasting our time,” Belmonte said.
Romualdez said lawmakers never had the opportunity to confront Napoles in the same magnitude as she maligned them on national media.
He recalled that his group repeatedly filed resolutions and even appealed to Speaker Feliciano “Sonny” Belmonte Jr. to conduct a House inquiry on the misuse of Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel.
“As we have been saying all along, Napoles has no right to hold hostage the reputations of some of our colleagues indefinitely,” said Romualdez.
“When the House starts its second regular session next month, we in the bloc will go all-out in pursuing these issues and anything else of similar national importance that will crop up in the coming days,” Romualdez added.Ryan Ponce Pacpaco