DOJ to probe media linked to PDAF bribes

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to conduct an investigation on media men who reportedly received "bribes" sourced from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of lawmakers.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Wednesday, March 19, that the DOJ will "look into" the matter as alleged in a Philippine Daily Inquirer report that 3 prominent media personalities had received bribes disguised as advertising expenses.

"[We] will evaluate first the sworn statements of the Nabcor whistleblowers....[We] will have copies of the affidavits within the week," she said in a text message to reporters. 

The concerned media personalities allegedly received checks issued from one of the corporate bank accounts of state firm National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) which is under the Department of Agriculture (DA). 

Those named were TV5 news anchor Erwin Tulfo and DZBB's Carmelo del Prado Magdurulang while the third media personality was not identified.

Senator Francis Escudero also said the Senate blue ribbon committee should also invite the media members to a hearing.

Tulfo, who denied the allegation, reportedly received P245,535 through a check from Nabcor dated March 10, 2009. Magduralang allegedly received a total of P245,535 in 3 separate checks dated April 27, May 14, and July 6, 2009.

Nabcor was allegedly used as a conduit of PDAF-funded projects under fake non-governmental organizations (NGOs) run by alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles.

The sham was revealed by principal whistleblower Benhur Luy, who was rescued by Philippine authorities in March 2013 from alleged illegal detention by Napoles and her brother Reynald Lim.

At least 38 have been charged in relation to the pork barrel scam, including Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr, and Jinggoy Estrada. – Rappler.com