Latest Stories

Top fashion designer backs whistle-blower


“Benhur is telling the truth.”

A top fashion designer, Eddie Baddeo, came forward to support the allegations made by Benhur K. Luy against Janet Lim-Napoles of JLN Corp. involving a P10-billion scam using the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel, of senators and congressmen.

Luy is formerly Napoles’ technical assistant in JLN, in which Napoles is president and CEO.

Baddeo did not solicit the interview. A post on his Facebook Timeline on July 12 got the interest of this reporter. The status from Baddeo’s Facebook account states: “Poetic justice! Digital Karma. Thank you, Lord! So happy with the front page headline of Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper this morning.”

“Yes, every allegation against her is true, she’s engaged in ghost deliveries and she claims to pay senators, congressmen and mayors. Benhur is telling the truth!” Baddeo said in an interview with the Inquirer.

The designer calls Napoles “Tita Jen,” a client of his who befriended him and, through him, purportedly used his wealth of connections.

“I had no idea what she was up to. I admit that I was financially unstable at that time so I thought, why not, not knowing the project involved ghost implementations and deliveries,” the designer said.

Two mayors

She only stopped when two of the mayors he approached for the project told him the project involved ghost deliveries.

“I confronted her about it and she got mad and told me that I have no right to ask since she was just trying to help me financially,” the designer recalled.

The Inquirer sent text messages and made repeated calls to Napoles to get her side about Baddeo’s allegations, but the messages were not answered and the calls were not returned.

Documented in letters

Not only did Baddeo agree to an interview, he also produced documents that may serve as a paper trail in the probe being conducted by the National Bureau of Investigation. These documents included 45 letters from local mayors addressed to the then Secretary of Agriculture, Arthur C. Yap.

The letters were all dated November and December 2006 with almost exactly the same contents, requesting Yap’s “valuable support to realize their aim of increasing their crop harvest.”

The letters said the amount of P5 million was requested by the mayors and that it would be used for the municipality’s or the city’s Agricultural Enhancement Program, supposedly for distribution to “deserving farmers.”

The documents were signed by mayors from various areas, including Plaridel and San Miguel in Bulacan; Angeles City in Pampanga; Abucay, Orani, Hermosa, Mariveles, Morong, Samal and Balanga Cty in Bataan; Lumban in Laguna; and Jaen, Peñaranda, San Leonardo and Sto. Domingo in Nueva Ecija.

Mayors from several towns in Isabela, Batangas, Tarlac, Camarines Sur, Catanduanes, Iloilo and Davao Oriental were among those who signed similar requests to Secretary Yap.

Forwarded to JLN

The requests were then forwarded to the office of JLN Corp. on the 25th floor of Discovery Suites in Ortigas. All the papers were received and signed by the secretary of Napoles, whom the designer identified only as “Neil.”

“She’s Filipino-Chinese but she died in 2008 or January of 2009, I am not sure, but it was Benhur who took over the documents we forwarded to Tita Jen’s office,” Baddeo said. “Benhur knows me and he knew that I questioned Tita Jen about the warning I received from two mayors.”

For ‘remembrance’ only

The two mayors who warned the designer that what they signed could involve “ghost deliveries,” however, did not withdraw their requests made in 2006.

Baddeo kept copies of those papers purportedly for “remembrance” purposes only. He said he had no plans of going after Napoles because he knew how high her connections were.

He also said he saw some of her connections come and report to Napoles’ office and that he heard some speaking with Napoles on the phone.

There was an instance, Baddeo said, when a senator called Napoles. After speaking with that senator, Napoles—according to the designer—said in Filipino, “I just gave money, now they’re asking again!”

Money for solon

In another instance, Baddeo said he saw a member of the House of Representatives from a congressional district in Luzon take money placed inside a trolley bag. The House member even asked Napoles why the designer was there because the lawmaker knew the designer, who had designed clothes for the lawmaker in the past.

In those instances that Baddeo claimed to have heard or seen the curious goings on, he was fitting Napoles for a new dress or gown.

“She (Napoles) used me and who knows how many more persons like me with connections she used,” Baddeo said. “I just hope they really dig deep in their investigation and she will be exposed for who she truly is.”

Is he willing to help the NBI in its investigation?

“My answer is corny but for the country, why not?” Baddeo said. “I kept these documents as remembrance of how she used me and my connections. I just hope that justice will really be served because it involves the people’s money.”

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Benhur K. Luy , Eddie Baddeo , Janet Lim Napoles , JLN Corp. , pork barrels , Scam , top fashion designer , whistle blower

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  3. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  4. Massive infra spending set
  5. OFW brings MERS virus to Philippines
  6. DOJ to NBI: Arrest Cedric Lee, 4 others
  7. Cardinal Tagle to faithful: Join politics to clean it
  8. Estrada, Gigi Reyes denied access to evidence from other respondents
  9. Lacson’s wife loses diamond earring to thieves but recovers jewelry quickly with police arrest
  10. DOJ orders arrest of Cedric Lee
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Suspect in Vhong Navarro mauling tries to leave PH
  3. Fr. Suarez says last Mass on Easter before returning donated land to San Miguel
  4. MH370 co-pilot made mid-flight phone call – report
  5. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  6. I’ll follow my conscience on Estrada, says JV Ejercito
  7. ‘Wife of Jesus’ theory papyrus not fake – Harvard study
  8. Gay college instructor arrested for oral sex with student
  9. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  10. Palace: We can’t blame increase in population on Vitangcol
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Pork payoffs to newscasters Erwin Tulfo, Del Prado, others bared
  4. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  5. Model Helena Belmonte wished ‘to slash her wrist and hope to die’
  6. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  7. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  8. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  9. Police rule out foul play in Helena Belmonte’s death as boyfriend is ‘traumatized’
  10. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct


  • Anti-gay demo in Ethiopia cancelled
  • Obama launches measures to support solar energy in US
  • Nebraska toddler gets stuck inside claw machine
  • Philippine eagle rescued by Army turned over to DENR
  • Gunmen attack Iraq military base, kill 10 soldiers
  • Sports

  • Vietnam says it will not host Asian Games
  • Nadal passes clay landmark with 300th victory
  • Wawrinka waltzes through with Monte Carlo walkover
  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Lifestyle

  • Ford Mustang turns 50 atop Empire State Building
  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Entertainment

  • Cannes film festival launches race for 2014 Palme d’Or
  • Jones, Godard, Cronenberg in competition at Cannes
  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Business

  • Total says makes ‘very promising’ oil find off Ivory Coast
  • ‘Chinese Twitter’ firm Weibo to go public in US
  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Malaysia quarantines 64 villagers over MERS virus
  • DFA: 2 Filipinos survive Korean ferry disaster
  • PH asks airline passengers to check for MERS
  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • Marketplace