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Joel Villanueva, Gringo Honasan, seven others sued over pork barrel scam

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Even allies of President Benigno Aquino III were not spared from charges over the pork barrel scam.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Friday filed the third batch of pork barrel scam cases before the Office of the Ombudsman on Aug. 7, 2014.

Sued for malversation of funds, graft and direct bribery are Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan III, Cagayan de Oro Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, and Technical Education Skills and Development Authority (Tesda) Secretary Joel Villanueva, a member of Aquino’s Cabinet.

Also impleaded in the complaint is accused pork barre scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles

Villanueva, a member of the administration coalition, is gunning for the senator’s seat under the Liberal Party ticket in 2016. He is the son of Jesus is Lord founder Bro. Eddie Villanueva.

Aquino appointed Villanueva Tesda Director General with a Cabinet rank. Ironically, he served as a representative for the Citizens Battle Against Corruption (Cibac) party-list from the 12th to 14th Congress.

Meanwhile, Honasan was reelected senator as an independent allied with the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (UNA) of Vice President Jejomar Binay. Honasan is now UNA vice president.

Meanwhile, Rodriguez is chairman of the House of Representatives ad hoc Bangsamoro committee which deliberated on the Bangsamoro basic law in Congress. Rodriguez is an administration ally.

Others in the complaint are La Union (1st district) Representative Victor Ortega, Manila (5th district) Representative Amado Bagatsing, former La Union Representative Manuel Ortega, former Abono Representatives Conrad Estrella III and Robert Raymund Estrella, and former Zamboanga Representative Isidoro Real Jr.

They are among the third batch of legislators sued for their involvement in the alleged scheme of pilfering their Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks.

The first batch filed with the Ombudsman and now detained for plunder are Senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Ramon Revilla Jr., as well as former Representatives Rizalina Seachon Lanete and Edgar Valdez. Also in the first batch and facing malversation are former Cagayan de Oro Rep. Constantino Jaraula, former Benguet Rep. Samuel Dangwa, and former Agusan Del Sur Rep. Rodolfo Plaza.

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