Napoles taxed lawmakers’ kickbacks in pork scam, says Luy
Accused mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles got a five-percent tax for herself on top of her alleged kickbacks from lawmakers’ funds in the alleged pork barrel scam, a witness told the Sandiganbayan Third Division on Friday.
During Napoles’ bail hearing from plunder, principal whistle-blower Benhur Luy said Napoles charged a five-percent tax on lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) kickbacks and that Napoles raked these for herself.
“Yung five percent tax, napupunta lang kay Janet Lim-Napoles. Makakabawas na nga, mapupunta pa sa kanya,” Luy said.
The witness said a lawmaker getting 40 percent kickbacks would then get less than the agreed percentage of rebates.
At this point, Napoles, who was present in the hearing, suddenly gasped at Luy’s allegation.
Napoles is accused of pocketing at the most 50 percent commissions in lawmakers’ PDAF while lawmakers allegedly got 40 to 50 percent.
For his part, Napoles’ lawyer Stephen David found it ludicrous that lawmakers would agree that their kickbacks in the scam would be further lessened.
“Mayroon bang senador na papayag na ang kanilang komisyon ay mabawasan, unless para sa gobyerno yan?” David said.
“Kung tayong dalawa, hindi tayo magde-deliver, kalokohan na babawasan pa ng VAT (value added tax). Wala namang VAT na kinukurakot.”
Napoles is accused of conniving with lawmakers in the scheme of pilfering their PDAF to ghost projects for kickbacks. She is serving life sentence at the Correctional Institution for Women for the serious illegal detention of Luy.