Napoles avoided paper trail in pork barrel scam–whistleblower
MANILA, Philippines–A whistleblower told the Sandiganbayan on Friday that accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles made sure she was not included in the paper trail relating to the pork barrel scam.
Marina Sula, who was an employee of Napoles’ JLN Corp., said during the hearing on Napoles’ bail request, that the latter did not issue written instructions to the presidents of nongovernment organizations (NGOs) linked to her.
Sula was president of Masaganing Ani Para sa Magbubukid Foundation Inc. (Mamfi), one of Napoles-linked NGOs.
“Hindi niya nakaugalian na magbigay ng written document especially sa presidents dahil yun ang magpapatunay na siya ang nagco-control ng mga NGO,” Sula said.
The whistleblower said Napoles’ lawyer Marciano Delson advised Napoles not to give written instructions to the NGO presidents especially in withdrawing millions of pesos from the NGO bank accounts.
Sula recounted that at one point she, as an authorized signatory, withdrew as much as P75 million from Mamfi’s bank account at the Land Bank of the Philippines in Greenhills, San Juan City.
The cash was bundled in 75 rolls worth P1 million each then stashed in bags, Sula said.
But even as a signatory, Sula said she could not withdraw money from the NGO accounts without the bank calling up Napoles to confirm the withdrawal.
The bank verifier would then write on the withdrawal slip that the transaction was confirmed by Napoles.
In a rare interview after the hearing, Napoles decried Sula’s habit of dropping names when she testifies.
Last week, Sula also namedropped sacked Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong, whom she identified as Napoles’ contact in the court.
The Supreme Court sacked Ong for impropriety over the allegations that he was Napoles’ contact in acquitting her in the Kevlar case.
Napoles said his lawyer, whom she calls “Rocky,” does not teach his clients to violate the law.
“Pinigilan ko talaga ang luha ko. Last hearing, siniraan niya isang Justice. Ngayon si Attorney Rocky naman. Kahit sinong tao tanungin niyo na kilala si Rocky, hindi ganun ang pagkatao niya. May abogado bang magtuturo nang ganon?” Napoles said.
Napoles also denied confirming the millions of withdrawals from Mamfi’s bank account, saying she would field a witness from Landbank to support this.
“Bigyan natin ng respeto ang bangko na account ng ibang tao ako magco-confirm? Hindi po ganon,” she said.
Napoles faces plunder and graft charges for allegedly masterminding the elaborate scheme of diverting lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds to her bogus NGOs only to be spent to ghost projects for kickbacks. She is detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa female ward.
The hearing over the scam has also resulted in the detention for plunder of Senators Ramon Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.
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