Sunas accuses Jinggoy Estrada of receiving Napoles kickbacks
MANILA, Philippines — Pork barrel scam whistleblower Merlina Sunas on Monday testified against detained Senator Jinggoy Estrada, accusing the latter of receiving kickbacks from accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
During Estrada’s bail hearing for plunder, Sunas said she personally prepared the kickbacks intended for Estrada from the scam.
“I was tasked to prepare the cash for the rebates of the senators like that of Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s,” Sunas told the court in Filipino during the direct examination.
But the defense and prosecution fought over the way Prosecutor Jun Dela Cruz asked the questions to Sunas.
Atty. Sabino Acut Jr. said the prosecutor asked leading questions without basis to make it appear Estrada received the kickbacks.
“They want the witness to make conclusions without showing basis,” Acut said.
Prosecutor Dela Cruz however said the witness already established her personal knowledge on the alleged transactions.
“The problem with the defense is that they do not listen!” Dela Cruz said.
Sunas was eventually allowed to continue with her testimony, but not without the court urging her to be more specific in her answers.
Associate Justice Alex Gesmundo led the questioning for Sunas to give out more specific details on the transactions.
Sunas said she prepared the liquidation reports, accomplishment reports and disbursement reports but said that she could not recall the specific amounts from Estrada’s Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) involved.
She reiterated that Napoles used her corporation as a front to control the foundations which would implement Estrada’s PDAF projects.
“The JLN Corp. was just a front for the transactions with lawmakers. The non-government organizations were used as conduit to fund the PDAF of the lawmakers,” Sunas said.
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