What happened to the principled guy I knew?By Ramon Tulfo
Philippine Daily Inquirer
There’s more than meets the eye in the estimated P10-billion scam involving the pork barrel funds of lawmakers ending up in dummy nongovernment organizations (NGO) for purported ghost projects.
Janet Lim-Napoles, president and CEO of the trading firm JLN Corp.—the firm that allegedly acted as the conduit of pork barrel funds—allegedly boasted to a friend that there were many more lawmakers who were involved than the ones published by the Inquirer on its front page on Monday.
The amount stolen from the government through the scheme could exceed P10 billion, said Napoles, who was reportedly laughing when she gave the information to a friend.
Some former lawmakers who are now in the executive branch of government were involved in the scheme.
Napoles’ friend told another friend, who, in turn, told me about it.
Of course, in court my information would be considered hearsay.
But I have no reason to doubt my friend’s story.
* * *
Why was Napoles laughing while she was telling her friend about the involvement of a bigger number of lawmakers than what came out in the Inquirer front page on Monday?
She’s probably sure nothing will come out of the investigation into her dealings with the government.
If the stories that have come out in the media are true, she certainly knows how to spread the sunshine, so to speak, that’s why all these years she has never been exposed.
If not for JLN Corp. insider Benhur Luy, who allegedly skimmed money off Napoles’ loot and whom she reportedly abducted, that woman and the corrupt lawmakers would still be laughing all the way to the bank.
* * *
When the OFW Family, a party-list group representing overseas Filipino workers, was being formed, I was present in one of its meetings.
OFW won two seats in the last election.
If memory serves, former Ambassador Roy Señeres, former actor Johnny Revilla, and a drop-dead gorgeous woman named Elo, were at an Italian restaurant at the Burgos Circle, Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.
My friendship with Señeres goes a long, long way.
He presented to me the line-up of OFW Family party-list nominees, namely, himself, as first nominee; Revilla, as second nominee; his son Roy Jr., as third nominee.
I told Roy that having himself and his son as candidates in the same party list smacked of a political dynasty, which he—if I know him well—very much abhorred.
He said he would have a former ship captain, Bembol Rosales, as the third candidate to replace his son.
It turned out Señeres didn’t keep his word.
He now wants Revilla disqualified for being an American citizen.
Worse, he wants Revilla replaced by Jo Christine Napoles, the daughter of Janet Napoles.
What Roy Señeres doesn’t know—or refuses to see—is that Revilla had renounced his US citizenship before the elections.
What has happened to the highly principled guy I have known from way back?
More from this Column:
- HK apology: Why Estrada and not Aquino?
- The President’s heavy cross
- Thoughts on Holy Week
- Why college grads end up in the PNP
- The resilience of Boholanos