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Gordon camp says Napoles’ wild claims meant to overshadow purchase scandal

/ 10:00 PM October 15, 2021
Gordon camp says Napoles' wild claims meant to overshadow purchase scandal

Janet Lim-Napoles. FIle photo

MANILA, Philippines — The claims made by convicted pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles that she has financial links to Senator Richard Gordon were meant to divert attention from the anomalous transactions that were uncovered, the senator’s camp said on Friday.

In a statement, Gordon’s camp said that Napoles’ comments are just part of a broader campaign against the senator for leading the Senate’s investigation into the administration’s questionable dealings flagged by the Commission on Audit (COA).

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Gordon, chair of the Senate blue ribbon committee, was accused by Napoles of receiving donations from her.

“With all the attacks hurled against Sen. Richard Gordon, the Napoles claim is just another desperate attempt using a polluted source meant to distract the Senate investigation from exposing corrupt individuals involved in the anomalous transactions this administration has entered with its favored suppliers,” Gordon’s office said.

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“While we do not need to dignify Napoles’ wild claim, let it be known that Senator Gordon has never received any donation from her, nor has he ever had any financial dealings with her,” they added.

In a short video with controversial lawyer Larry Gadon, Napoles implied that Gordon received funds for his presidential candidacy back in 2010.  Napoles also asked whether the senator had included her donations in his statement of campaign expenditures.

But Gordon’s camp insisted that he had never been involved with Napoles, even when the now-jailed businesswoman was dealing with several offices in the Senate.

“There have never been any reports that he was involved in the PDAF scam she masterminded, otherwise cases would have been filed against him years ago,” the office stressed.

Napoles was convicted for masterminding the pork barrel scam. In this scheme, public funds under lawmakers’ priority development assistance fund (PDAF) are allocated to non-government organizations (NGOs) set up by her.

However, the NGOs were found to be non-existent, which means public funds were allocated to non-performing organizations and that most of the programs are ghost projects.

Napoles was found guilty by the Sandiganbayan in December 2018 in a pork barrel scam case involving Senator Bong Revilla.  The decision from the anti-graft court showed that the prosecution was not able to prove the guilt of Revilla, who was accused of allocating P224 million from his PDAF to the bogus non-government organizations owned by Napoles.

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READ: Bong Revilla acquitted of plunder 

READ: Sandiganbayan affirms Napoles’ conviction for plunder 

Currently, Gordon’s committee is investigating the P42-billion funds transferred by the Department of Health to procuring agencies as stated by COA’s report.

A huge chunk of the funds was used for contracts with Pharmally Pharmaceutical Corporation, a small company with a paid-up capital of P625,000 that managed to bag over P8.6 billion worth of deals.

As to how Napoles was able to specify Gordon’s address, the senator’s office said that they were both residents of the same condominium building.

“Napoles lived in the same condominium building as Sen. Gordon, and it is easy for anyone to secure a fellow resident’s unit number. People do so all the time to bring or send letters, fruits, and food,” Gordon’s office said.

“To set the record straight, all campaign contributions and expenses related to the past election campaigns as well as the use of development assistance funds of Sen. Gordon and his office are above board and of public record,” it added.

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TAGS: Janet Lim Napoles, Pharmally, Philippine news updates, Pork barrel, pork barrel scam, Senate, Senate blue ribbon committee, Senator Richard Gordon
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