Philippines pork barrel scam: Where are the 53 now?

Philippines pork barrel scam: Where are the 53 now?

Six of the 53 people, including three senators, in the first set of respondents recommended for prosecution in connection with the pork barrel scam have fled the country, the Inquirer has learned.

Authorities began ascertaining the whereabouts of these people after the Ombudsman found probable cause to indict them for plunder or graft, said a knowledgeable source, who asked not to be identified for lack of authority to speak on the matter.

The source said that contrary to earlier reports, Pauline Therese Mary C. Labayen, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada's deputy chief of staff, has not left the country for the United States.

"There are no official records of Labayen's departure and a check with US immigration records showed that there was no record of her arrival," the source said.

Another source said Dennis L. Cunanan, deputy director general of the Technology Resource Center (TRC) and a provisional state witness, left the country with his family last week, also bound for the United States.

"We have yet to receive the complete report of his departure and destination, but the initial information is that he left with his wife and children," the source said.

However, this was contradicted by another source, who said Cunanan was still in the country.

Six who left

According to the official records, Estrada left the country with his wife, Precy, on March 26 bound for Hong Kong and is now reported to be in Los Angeles.

Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. and his wife, Cavite Rep. Lani Mercado, with their children left very early last March 30 to go on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

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