Estrada confirms calls to ‘close friend’ Napoles
MANILA, Philippines—Detained Senator Jinggoy Estrada said Monday that he was indeed friends with accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles and that he used to call her.
Estrada spoke after principal whistleblower Benhur Luy told the Sandiganbayan Napoles had called Estrada about his alleged pork barrel kickbacks.
In his testimony during Estrada’s bail hearing, Luy said that he was present one time when Estrada called Napoles and the woman put the senator on the speaker phone.
“Hoy, Jinggoy!” Luy quoted Napoles as greeting the senator, whom the witness said was very close to her.
“Tumawag si Jinggoy asking for an advance commission,” Luy said.
A visibly irked Estrada pointed a finger at Luy and muttered: “Sinungaling (Liar).”
After the hearing, Estrada said he never denied that he was close to Napoles, but insisted that he never got kickbacks from Napoles.
“Nagkakatawagan kami ni Napoles. Di ko pinagkakaila na kaibigan ko si Napoles (Napoles and I called each other. I don’t deny that Napoles is my friend),” Estrada said.
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