MANILA, Philippines—Sen. Ferdinand Marcos Jr. insists he did not seek the transfer of P100 million in state funds to fake nongovernment organizations (NGOs) controlled by Janet Lim-Napoles through the National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC) as claimed by Budget Secretary Florencio Abad.
“I have not seen any of the letters that Secretary Abad is referring to. It would have been more constructive if he had checked with my office first but instead he chose to vilify me in the press,” said Marcos in a statement.
In an Inquirer report on Sept. 20, Abad disputed Marcos’ claim that his signature had been forged to facilitate the release of his P100-million share of the pork barrel to the Napoles NGOs.
Abad said the senator wrote former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile on Nov. 23, 2011, requesting for the P100-million fund and also wrote the Department of Budget and Management requesting that the implementing agency for the fund be changed from the Department of Agrarian Reform to the NLDC on Feb. 8, 2012. The DAR had refused to act as implementor of the fund to be channeled to the Napoles NGOs as it had yet to account for the P900 million in Malampaya funds it released to Napoles NGOs in 2009).
“As I said before, the first time I heard about this P100 million allotment was when the COA (Commission on Audit) wrote me on Sept. 4, 2013, and asked me to confirm my signature on a document which allegedly came from my office. In an effort to aid the COA with its investigation, we immediately sent them proof that the documents were falsified. Since the initial batch relating to this [P100 million] were falsified, it would be prudent to treat everything with utmost caution,” Marcos said, noting that his signature and that of his chief of staff, Ramon Cardenas, were falsified and the lawyer who notarized the letters was nonexistent.
Marcos also questioned why Abad refused to acknowledge that the P100 million came from the Disbursement Acceleration Program which the senator said was a “stimulus fund” of Malacañang for spending on high-impact projects.