MANILA, Philippines—If flight were an indication of guilt, several personalities linked to the P10-billion pork barrel scam might have given investigators strong cause to indict them.
Available information from the Bureau of Immigration (BI) indicated that two more linked to the illegal use of the lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), also known as pork barrel, have quietly slipped out of the country.
BI records showed that Ruby Chan Tuason left the country on Aug. 26 via Cathay Pacific Airways flight CX906. Her flight coincided with the Million People March that netizens organized at Rizal Park in Manila to call for the complete abolition of the pork barrel.
While there was no mention of Tuason’s destination, a check on flightstats.com showed that the particular flight regularly departs for Hong Kong.
Data also showed that Rodolfo Galido Plaza left the country on Sept. 11 via Cebu Pacific 5J108. The aircraft also flies the Manila-Hong Kong route.
Tuason, the former social secretary of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, was among those named by whistle-blowers as involved in the pork barrel scam allegedly masterminded by businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
Plaza, Agusan del Sur representative from 2001 to 2010, was tagged as one of the 28 lawmakers who allowed his pork barrel to be used for ghost projects initiated by Napoles’ fake nongovernment organizations.
A certain Richard Cambe was also found to have left the country, but a source from the immigration bureau told reporters that he might just be the namesake of Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr.’s chief political adviser. Records showed that the passenger, who was born on Dec. 17, 1983, left on May 17 last year on Cathay Pacific flight CX918.
On Thursday, acting Immigration Commissioner Siegfred Mison confirmed that Jessica Lucilla “Gigi” Reyes, former chief of staff of Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, left the country for Macau on Aug. 31 and “has not returned.”