Senators got half from Napoles dealsBy Maila Ager
‘PORK’ WITNESS Benhur Luy, the principal witness in the P10 billion “pork barrel” scam, testified for the first time before the Senate blue ribbon committee on Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2013, that Janet Lim-Napoles, his cousin and boss in the company he was employed in, was the mastermind of the scheme that involved the funneling of legislators’ “pork” or Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to fake non-government organizations formed by Napoles. Video by INQUIRER.net’s Ryan Leagogo
MANILA, Philippines – Senators involved in the P10 billion “pork barrel fund” scam had allegedly received cash from Janet Lim-Napoles, principal whistleblower Benhur Luy disclosed on Thursday.
“Cash. Merong MC (manager’s check ) pero di po nakapangalan sa senador,” Luy said when he testified at the Senate blue ribbon committee investigating the scam.
Luy was responding to Senator Teofisto Guingona III’s, question how the senators received money from Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the pork scam. Guingona is the chairman of the blue ribbon committee.
But Luy said sometimes Napoles herself or her driver would deliver the money to the senators or the senators would send their chiefs of staff to Napoles’ office to pick up the money.
There were also times , he said, that the senators’ chiefs of staff would accompany them to the banks to withdraw the money.
But asked by Guingona if he had personally saw money being given to senators, Luy said: “Wala.”
Luy did not answer when the senator asked again how many senators were involved in the scam. Instead, Justice Secretary de Lima, who was seated beside the whistle-blower, responded to the question.
“Ayaw po nyang sumagot,” said De Lima, who had informed that her witness would not name names in his testimony.
During last week’s hearing, however, at least two witnesses identified Senators Juan Ponce-Enrile, Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. as among those who had funnelled their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel funds to non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to Napoles.
In the case of lawmakers at the House of Representatives, Luy said they got their money through fund transfers to their personal accounts or sometimes to the accounts of their chiefs of staff.
At the start of his testimony, Luy revealed a 50-50 percent sharing of PDAF that went to Napoles’ projects— 50 percent to Napoles and the other 50 percent to lawmakers.
If the amount for instance of PDAF that would be allotted to Napoles’ foundations was P10 million , Luy said, lawmakers would usually get the first down payment of P2.5 million or 50 percent of his P5 million share upon the submission of list of projects from Napoles .
The remaining 50 percent or P2.5 million share of the lawmakers would be given upon the release of the special allotment release order (SARO).
From the banks, Luy said Napoles’ money was usually brought to her office and then to her house.
The money in Napoles’ office, Luy said, would sometimes reach up to P75 million.
Pork Barrel Probe