"Gago siya. Pag-aralan muna niya ang panukalang batas. Di naman kailangan ng pork barrel," (He’s crazy. He should analyze the bill more. Pork Barrel is not essential. ) A displeased and irritated Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago uttered in her talk at the Diamond Hotel on Thursday, a day following the much-anticipated privilege speech of Senatorregarding the alleged exploitation of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) last Wednesday, September 25
Estrada is among the preliminary batch of politicians who were accused with plunder in relation to the organized abuse of their Priority Development Assistance Fund over the years. The rumor is that Estrada has forewarned Senate President Franklin Drilon that he would divulge the identities of administration-allied representatives who had misused their pork barrel but were spared from investigations and graft charges, well misery loves company.
Sen. Santiago said that Estrada was just pointing fingers at his coworkers when he should be the one to be scrutinized for his participation in the P10 billion pork barrel scam.
Juan Ponce Enrile and other current senators and Jinggoy Estrada, along with former congressmen, have been accused with plunder by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for supposedly obtaining commissions in the pork barrel scam.
Sen. Estrada said there are also alleged indiscretions in handling of pork barrel funds of House Majority Leader Representative Neptali M. Gonzales II (Mandaluyong) and former Waray party-list Representative Florencio “Bem” G. Noel.
Mr. Estrada also said that Mr. Gonzales allegedly gathered at least P440 million PDAF in six years in office but based on CoA reports, most of the funds went to the congressman’s district.
On his speech, Estrada also criticized some of his colleagues for already passing conviction on him, expressing that he is certain that the scam investigation is a political deceit against the opposition. He also included that other senators like Santiago were included in debatable expenditures of their pork barrel to local government units.
Senator Miriam Santiago however agreed with Estrada about the corruption in the Upper House. "nangungupahan lang ng building ang Senado. Dapat magtayo ng sariling building. Sa Davao. Sa crocodile farm." (The Senate (corrupt officials) is just renting this building. They must construct their own building, in Davao maybe, specifically on the famous Crocodile Farm), she stated.
Santiago also agreed with Senate President Franklin Drilon's decision not to bring alleged pork scam operator Janet Lim-Napoles in the Senate for investigation.
"Kami ay mga senador at hindi imbestigador," (We are senators, not investigators) she said.
The Senator also verbalized the additional expenditure the government would sustain if they persist on bringing Napoles before the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee investigativing the scam.
"Malaki ang gagastusin...sa pagbiyahe-biyahe ni Napoles tapos ayaw niya mag-enter ng guilty or not guilty plea. Espesyal yung gastos sa pagbiyahe-biyahe- talo pa nya si Miley Cyrus o si Lady Gaga," ( Napoles’ travel expenses will be extreme, she doesn’t even want to enter a ‘guilty or not guilty plea’. Her travel expenditures will be too “special”, significantly special than Miley Cyrus' or Lady Gaga's.) she said.