SC justice in list of ghost beneficiaries in pork barrel scam, says whistleblower
MANILA, Philippines–The Sandiganbayan Fifth Division had a light moment Monday when whistleblower Merlina Suñas said one of their ghost beneficiaries in the pork barrel scam is Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen.
During the bail hearing of detained senator Jinggoy Estrada, Suñas said accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles rounded up her employees, security guards, and house maids to come up with names in their list of fake beneficiaries for ghost projects.
Apparently, one of the househelpers came up with the idea to use the list of bar exam passers published in the newspaper.
“It so happened lumabas ang bar exams during that time. Dun kami kumuha ng pangalan. 2007 or 2008 po yun,” Suñas told the court.
(It so happened that the result of the bar exams was released at that time. That’s where we got names. That was 2007 or 2008.)
This caused the whole court, including the Associate Justices, to laugh at Suñas’ revelation.
“So you used names of bar passers for the list of beneficiaries. Whoever thought of that?” an incredulous Associate Justice Alex Gesmundo asked.
“Kasambahay po ni Napoles (One of the househelpers of Napoles),” Suñas answered.
The court laughed even more when Suñas said that even Justice Leonen made it to the list of fake beneficiaries for agricultural and livelihood projects.
“Nakasama po pangalan ng sa Supreme Court, si Marvic Leonen. I don’t know saan galing ang pangalan,” Suñas said of the former government chief negotiator for the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
Suñas is the all-around assistant of Napoles testifying against Estrada who is detained for plunder for conspiring with Napoles in pillaging his Priority Development Assistance Funds.
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