Ex-mayors from Bataan deny involvement in PDAF scam

BALANGA CITY, Bataan- Expressing shock and surprise, three former mayors in Bataan denied yesterday their involvement in the P10 billion pork barrel scam, saying they did not receive any amount from the controversial Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) from lawmakers.

In an interview, the former chief executives of the towns of Orani and Samal, now occupying different positions in the provincial government, stressed that they had no knowledge about the reported pork barrel scam.

“I did not apply for it and had received nothing from that controversial fund, you can check at our municipality if there was such fund that we received,” pointed out Vice Governor Bondying Pascual, adding that he has never met Janel Lim Napoles, the principal character in the alleged elaborate scam.

“Mabuti nga sana kung may dumating na pera, pero talagang wala kaming natatanggap na pondo sa PDAF na iyan noong panahon ko sa Orani,” said Pascual and Board Member Tigaz.

The third official reportedly implicated in a news television broadcast was former Abucay town mayor Liberato “Pambato” Santiago, now a civilian attending to his family business. But his wife, incumbent Mayor Ana Santiago, said that they did not receive any amount coming from the Napoles firm. “Wala namang natanggap ang Abucay na ganyang pondo, wala, wala talaga ,” said the lady mayor.

San Miguel Bulacan town Roderick Tiongson and former mayor Anastacia Vistan of Plaridel, meanwhile, claimed that their signatures were forged in their supposed endorsement to former Agriculture secretary Arthur Yap asking for P5 million fund.
Earlier reports disclosed that a total of 44 mayors in the country had received such controversial fund, now the subject of investigation as ordered by President Aquino.

House Minority Leader and San Juan City Rep. Ronaldo Zamora filed last Monday Resolution 160 asking for the conduct of a joint inquiry on the alleged misuse of P10 billion PDAF by a bogus network.-Mar T Supnad