Quantcast
Napoles
Latest Stories

Pichay defends Napoles couple: They’re legitimate

By

Prospero Pichay

Former Surigao del Norte Rep. Prospero Pichay Jr. INQUIRER file photo

MANILA, Philippines—Former Surigao del Sur Rep. Prospero Pichay on Monday dismissed allegations that his company, Asia Prime Energy Development Corp., was a cover for an alleged scam cooked up by Janet Lim-Napoles to fleece the government of P10 billion in ghost projects using funds of lawmakers’ pork barrel and other state agencies.

Pichay, who has been dismissed from a plum government post and perpetually disqualified from public office, said his company was legitimate.

He expressed surprise that his company was even mentioned in connection with the allegations against Napoles and her alleged racket involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), or pork barrel, of lawmakers.

He said Asia Prime was a private company that had nothing to do with public funds. “It has nothing to do with the PDAF. I’m surprised my name and company have been dragged into that when it’s purely a private business,” Pichay said in a phone interview.

It could be a case of “malicious reporting,” he added.

Pichay was sacked as chair of the Local Water Utilities Administration in 2011 after administrative and criminal charges were filed against him for allegedly putting some P780 million in office funds into an insolvent bank in 2008 and 2009.

Napoles claim

In an interview with ANC television, Napoles denied any wrongdoing and said her great wealth came from a successful business in coal exports and trading with China, India and Pakistan.

But Merlina P. Suñas, a Napoles employee, told the Inquirer that she registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Asia Prime and other dummy nongovernment organizations controlled by the businesswoman.

“They do not know anything about coal,” Suñas said. “Their goal was to go into a high-profile business from the money they made out of their real business.”

Pichay acknowledged that former Marine Maj. Jaime Napoles, Janet’s husband, was one of the stockholders in Asia Prime. He said he had known the Napoles couple for a long time, even before he entered politics. He does not think they have anything to do with the alleged scam.

According to Pichay, Asia Prime was a new company, and was only registered with the SEC recently, sometime last year. It has not yet embarked on actual projects, but it has some of them online. It has yet to put up its office, because it has yet to secure a mayor’s permit.

“It’s a start-up company,” he said. “We just organized, we registered with the SEC. How can you say it’s bogus?”

He explained that he put up the company because of the power shortage in Mindanao.

“Being a Mindanaoan, one of my advocacies is to be able to put in additional generation in Mindanao,” Pichay said.

Pichay said he and his partners were studying whether to go for a coal-fired plant, which could be controversial because of opposition from environment groups. Another alternative is a hydro-electric plant, but this could be inadequate during the summer season, he said.

He also said that the Napoleses had legitimate businesses from way back, and were involved in coal mining in Indonesia. He was also surprised when their names were dragged into the alleged misuse of the pork barrel, and did not think they could have anything to do with it.

“I was congressman for nine years. Never did she approach me about my PDAF,” said Pichay. He said he was not aware of any NGO the couple had put up.


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: ghost projects , Janet Lim Napoles , Philippines , pork barrel scam , Prospero Pichay




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
Advertisement
Advertisement

News

  • Drilon calls for sobriety as mudslinging, witch hunts loom due to pork scam
  • S. Korea ferry toll hits 150 as search gets tougher
  • If Napoles names Aquino allies, they’ll be brought to bar of justice – Palace
  • Lacson says diamond-studded earring snatched from wife fake
  • Pope John XXIII launched Vatican II and then some
  • Sports

  • Wizards beat Bulls in OT to take 2-0 series lead
  • Pacers rally past Hawks 101-85 to even series
  • David Moyes out as Manchester United manager
  • Nadal to face fellow Spaniard at Barcelona Open
  • Defensive Chelsea holds Atletico in scoreless draw
  • Lifestyle

  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Sweet party for Andi Manzano
  • Entertainment

  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Summer movie preview: Bay reboots ‘Transformers’
  • Business

  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • $103M Vista Land bonds tendered for redemption
  • Oil slips to $102 as US crude supplies seen rising
  • SC stops Meralco power rate hike anew
  • Technology

  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law
  • New York police Twitter campaign backfires badly
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Filipina, 51, shot dead by 24-year-old American boyfriend
  • China, rivals sign pact to ease maritime tensions
  • Visa-free US trip? Do not believe it, says consulate
  • Obama visit to Asia seen as counterweight to China
  • Violence mars militant protest at US Embassy
  • Marketplace
    Advertisement