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Lady solon accompanied Napoles during House pork ‘rounds’—witness

/ 02:07 PM March 25, 2015

MANILA, Philippines – Businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles was accompanied by Representative Zenaida Ducut when the alleged mastermind of the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam made the rounds of the House of Representative, a witness told the Sandiganbayan Wednesday.

Ducut, formerly Pampanga representative and now chair of the Energy Regulatory Commission, was the alleged agent of Napoles in the chamber.

Testifying during the bail hearing of Napoles before the antigraft court’s Third Division, Merlina Suñas said she was with Napoles when the businesswoman and Ducut met.

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Suñas added that she also accompanied Napoles and Ducut as they went to the offices of other lawmakers. She said among the lawmakers they visited were “Estrella” and “Romualdo.” She did not give the first names.

READ: 20 senators, 100 congressmen named on Napoles’ long list

“Sila po ung mga kliyente ni Napoles that time,” Suñas said.

She said Napoles went to the chamber at the most five times. She could no longer recall the dates.

“Did you transfer from one office to another?” Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje Tang, chair of the Third Division, asked the witness.

“Opo. Kasama niya si Congresswoman Ducut pero hindi ako sumasabay sa loob,” Suñas said.

She said though that she was able to enter Ducut’s office in the chamber.

Suñas said she could recall a picture containing all the faces of the representatives pinned below a smaller picture of then President Gloria Arroyo inside the office of Ducut.

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Ducut was said to be an ally of Arroyo, now Pampanga representative who is also facing lunder over a charity funds mess.

Ducut, who served as Pampanga representative from 1995 to 2004, was identified by primary whistle-blower Benhur Luy as one of Napoles’ agents in the House. In his ledger, Luy said Ducut earned at least P40 million in commissions.

Suñas and Luy are Napoles’ employees who turned their backs and turned state witness on the alleged scheme of using lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds to ghost projects for kickbacks.

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TAGS: House, House of Representatives, Janet Lim Napoles, Janet Napoles, PDAF, pork barrel scam, Zenaida Ducut
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