Napoles driver got P112M from pork scam
MANILA, Philippines—The driver of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles received P112 million in check payments from state corporations that implemented questionable projects funded by the pork barrel of legislators from 2007 to 2009, a state audit official told the Sandiganbayan on Friday.
Commission on Audit (COA) assistant commissioner Susan Garcia said the documents showed that 10 checks for a total of P112 million were received by John Raymund de Asis, who was described as Napoles’ driver, on behalf of two dubious nongovernment organizations (NGOs) that received pork barrel funds coursed through the implementing agencies from 2007 to 2009.
But Napoles and her nephew and plunder coaccused Ronald John Lim did not appear in the pork barrel scam paper trail uncovered by the COA, according to Garcia.
Napoles, Lim and De Asis are being tried for plunder along with Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. and their aides after Napoles’ former associates turned against her and spilled the beans about a long-running scam of funneling legislators’ pork barrel funds into ghost livelihood projects.
Lim and De Asis remain at large.
During the cross-examination at the hearing for Napoles’ petition for bail before antigraft court’s Third Division, Napoles’ lawyer had Garcia admitting that COA’s special audit documents contained in 14 folders did not show the names of Napoles and her nephew Lim.
Garcia said the documents showed De Asis received checks from implementing agencies on behalf of the NGOs Masaganang Ani Para Sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc. (Mamfi) and the Countrywide Agri and Rural Economic Development Foundation (Cared), where De Asis was among the incorporators.
The 10 checks paid to De Asis were for P12.3 million, P3.6 million, P20 million, P10 million, P20 million, P8 million, P10 million, P4 million, P20 million and P4 million.
The checks were issued by National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor), Technology Research Center (TRC) and National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC) which implemented the questionable projects funded by the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) or pork barrel of the three senators.
When Napoles’ lawyer Lanee David pressed that someone else other than De Asis could have received the check payments, Garcia said the implementing agencies would only release the checks to the intended recipient.
“The checks are received from the implementing agencies so they know who received the checks,” she said.
Garcia said the two Napoles-linked NGOs “neither confirmed nor denied the validity of the transactions” whether De Asis received the payments intended for them.
Under questioning, Garcia said the documents showed Napoles’ aides-turned-state witnesses Benhur Luy, Marina Sula and Merlina Suñas were involved in the questionable transactions as incorporators of the dubious NGOs that received the pork barrel funds.
Garcia is director of the COA special audit unit that conducted the special audit of pork barrel allocations from 2007 to 2009.
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