Duterte to investigate Lacson’s claim Cayetano’s PHISGOC patterned after Napoles pork scam
President Rodrigo Duterte will look into allegations that Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano’s Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee (PHISGOC) had shades of Janet Lim Napoles’ P10 billion pork barrel scam.
” I really cannot (comment if PHISGOC is similar to Napoles’ pork scam)… I said I have to investigate,” said Duterte when asked for his views on Lacson’s comment.
“The right to be heard must be afforded to all in keeping with the Constitutional right to be heard. But of course the existence of that right in that Constitution does not preclude anybody from initiating an investigation, including the President. Eh kung maka-imbestiga ang Congress, lalo na ako,” he added.
Lacson branded as “questionable” the transfer of P1.5 billion in public funds for the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEAG) from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) to Cayetano’s private foundation, PHISGOC.
“Remember, individuals had been charged and convicted using a private foundation as a repository of public funds. That’s the Napoles case,” said Lacson who believed that a probe on the Napoles-like fund transfer would be investigated by the Senate.
“After the SEA Games, if a member of the Senate blue ribbon committee will file a resolution or deliver a privilege speech in that regard, a Senate… inquiry is in order and will definitely be conducted,” he said in a text message to the Inquirer.
In defending PHISGOC, Cayetano pointed out what was legal and illegal in the Napoles’ pork barrel scam.
“Ang nangyari kay Napoles, peke ‘yung mga delivery, ninakaw ang pera. Hindi naman crime ‘yung sa Napoles na may foundation eh, hindi naman crime sa Napoles na meron kang hawak na government funds,” said Cayetano.
“Tanong mo nga kay Senator Lacson ‘yung account n’ya? Hindi ba sa account n’ya galing din sa gobyerno para sa opisina n’ya? So pareho ba ng Napoles ‘yun?” said Cayetano in an interview with reporters.
“Eh private ‘yung account n’ya ‘di ba? Pero dahil senador s’ya, may fund s’ya na nili-liquidate with the signature. So is that also Napoles? So ang layo eh ‘di ba?” he added.