By Katrina Domingo
The Department of Justice (DOJ) is preparing to file cases against legislators from both chambers of Congress who might be involved in diverting their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to bogus nongovernment organizations.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, who made the confirmation on Tuesday, said she has a list of legislators against whom cases would be filed in two weeks.
But she declined to give their names or their number, saying that the list was not yet complete and any investigation might still be premature at this point.
Before identifying them, De Lima wanted to make sure that the cases against would be backed by evidence.
She also clarified allegations that the DOJ would spare Liberal Party members from investigation.
Party affiliations, she stressed, would not be a consideration in identifying suspects.
In reaction, Quirino Rep. Dakila Carlo Cua said he would respect the DOJ mandate but hoped that there would be no trial by publicity.
Bohol Rep. Rene Relampagos said he would respect the findings of the National Bureau of Investigation.
But he said he hoped that the PDAF would not be scrapped should some lawmakers be found guilty of misusing their pork barrel.
Earlier, the House leadership said that it would not hold a probe into the scam.
House Speaker Feliciano "Sonny" Belmonte, Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales, and Rep. Miro Quimbo, who heads the Committee on Ways and Means all agreed that they would leave it up to the DOJ to get to the bottom of the case.
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Pia Hontiveros, Chief Correspondent and anchor of Solar Network News and News.Ph, presents the Solar News and Current Affairs year-ender special: On the Cusp of Change. A deafening silence, not out of a loss for words but a grief that cannot be spoken, for thousands lost to a super typhoon ... A muted pain from a powerful tremor that violently shook the heart of the nation ... An unspeakable anger over pork barrel that fueled a political maelstrom ... These and other stories from the extraordinary challenging year that was.