Jul 132013
Malacañang on Saturday downplayed reports linking Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. to a P10-billion ghost project scam involving legislators’ the pork barrel funds.

Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said that at least for now, Ochoa appeared to be a victim of “guilt by association” because his former law firm was linked to the mess.

“Apparently from the reports, dinadawit ang ES dahil supposedly sa dating law firm niya. Hindi ko alam ang … involvement other than just mentioning the name. Walang allegation of wrongdoing on part of the Executive Secretary,” she said on government-run dzRB radio.

“Parang naging guilt (by) association, which does not stand up in any investigation or any court,” she added.

She said she does not know why Ochoa would be dragged into the row. “Hindi natin alam kung ano ang intention ng taong nagdadawit,” she said.

Ochoa’s law firm had been linked by some reports to the P10-billion scam involving mostly funds from the priority assistance development fund (PDAF) of some lawmakers.

A report on the Philippine Daily Inquirer said the MOST law firm’s founders had included Ochoa, Liza Marcos – wife of Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Edward Serapio and Joseph Tan.

The Inquirer report said Ochoa had divested his interests in the law firm after he joined the Aquino administration in 2010. — LBG, GMA News

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