Plunder raps strong,
justice not selective
MORE CASES TO BE FILED, DE LIMA SAYS
BY CARLA GOMEZ
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday said the move to file amended plunder charges in connection with the pork barrel scam against Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla is not an indication that the evidence of the government against them is weak.
“It is wrong if people think the initial charges filed are weak and defective, the information is sufficient…the evidence against the three senators is strong,” said de Lima at a press conference at L’Fisher Hotel in Bacolod City yesterday.
The justice secretary, who was in Bacolod to speak before a joint induction of Rotary clubs, also said that the place where Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, who is also facing plunder charges, will be detained, will depend on the Sandiganbayan, if it decides to issue a warrant of arrest for him.
Inclusion of Negros officials
in Luy list needs proof: DOJ
BY CARLA GOMEZ
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima yesterday said the inclusion of the names of public officials in the pork barrel scam files of whistle-blowerBenhur Luy, the former finance officer of Janet Napoles, need to be backed by supporting evidence for charges to be filed against them.
De Lima, at a press conference in Bacolod City, was responding to a question on the inclusion of the names of Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr., Sagay Mayor Alfredo Marañon III, and former Rep. Jose Carlos Lacson purportedly in the files of Luy published in a national newspaper.
The need to bid
Another case has been decided by the Sandiganbayan involving the failure of a public official to hold the required bidding before making a disbursement from the public coffers.
This time, it is a town mayor in Cebu who has been meted the penalty of six to 10 years imprisonment, plus perpetual disqualification from government office, for the purchase of construction materials costing 1.9 million. There would have been nothing wrong with the expense if not for the fact that no public bidding, as required by law, was conducted.
Worse, not only the mayor who authorized the purchase, has been convicted. The members of the town Bids and Awards Committee were also included in the charges and are also penalized. Matters probably were aggravated by the fact that, as discovered by the Commission on Audit, a token bidding was held – but it was done after the purchase, hence the added charge of conspiracy.
Negros Oriental businessmen prefer to transact business in Cebu, rather than in the boundaries of the two Negros provinces under the one-island region set-up, Ed Du, president of the Negros Oriental Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc., said.
He said it is more convenient to travel to Cebu since it is more accessible by crossing the Tañon Strait in 45 minutes either by barge, fastcraft or pump boats,or by air through daily flights to Cebu.