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‘Enrile unseen hand in pork scam’

Senator tagged in report to Morales
/ 02:40 AM November 21, 2013

An investigative team of the Office of the Ombudsman has named Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile as the mastermind of the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam—not businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, according to official documents obtained by Inquirer. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

An investigative team of the Office of the Ombudsman has named Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile as the mastermind of the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam—not businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, according to official documents obtained by Inquirer.

“Clearly, no matter how layered the scheme may have been perpetrated or unrelated the players may appear, all facts point to Senator Enrile as the unseen hand directing the compass and the tempo of the whole orchestra,” according to a memorandum prepared by Assistant Ombudsman Joselito P. Fangon.

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The eight-page report submitted on Nov. 11 to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales said Enrile’s former aides Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Gonzales-Reyes and Jose Antonio Evangelista had a close association with Napoles, who was named by her former employees as the brains behind the scheme that allegedly turned allocations under the congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) into kickbacks.

A separate memorandum also recommended the filing of criminal and administrative charges against Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla.

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The Fangon memo likewise recommended the filing of plunder charges against Reyes, Evangelista, Alan Javellana, Rhodora Mendoza, Victor Cacal, Maria Ninez Guanizo, Encarnita Cristina Munsod, Ma. Julie Asor Johnson, Gondelina Amata, Chita Chua Jalandoni, Emmanuel Sevidal, Ofelia Ordonez, Filipina Rodriguez, Sofia Daing Cruz, Antonio Ortiz, Dennis Cunanan, Maria Rosalinda Lacsamana, Consuelo Lilian Reyes Espiritu, Francisco Figura, Allen Baysa, Marivic Jover and officials of six nongovernment organizations (NGOs) controlled by Napoles.

“There exists sufficient evidence to warrant the filing of criminal and administrative charges against all individuals involved in the release, utilization and disbursement,” the memorandum said, citing statements of former Napoles employees led by Benhur Luy and documents from the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and the Commission on Audit (COA).

Most of the people recommended for prosecution are in the letter complaint sent on Sept. 16 by the National Bureau of Investigation to the Ombudsman, recommending that they be investigated and charged in the Sandiganbayan if warranted.

‘Total lie’

In a statement, Enrile described as a “total lie” the accusation against him. “In due time, I will explain why it is a lie,” he said, adding that he planned to do this in a privilege speech.

He said he did not think this was the time to do it, noting the disaster caused by Supertyphoon “Yolanda.”

“The repetitious but unwarranted designation by Sen. Enrile of Mrs. Napoles’ NGOs and his eventual receipt of kickbacks through a representative by itself shows an implied conspiracy,” Fangon said in his memorandum.

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“Mrs. Napoles and Senator Enrile operated their pork enterprise as if the hideous scheme was their regular business,” it said.

The document also identified Ruby Tuason as an agent of Enrile, 89, described as “Tanda.” Tuason is the widow of a late cousin of Mike Arroyo, husband of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

The papers said Tuason was a frequent visitor at Napoles’ office at 2502 Discovery Center “to pick up cash from Napoles intended for Tanda.”

“Mrs. Napoles’ dealings with Enrile’s staff not only clearly indicate her familiarity and close association with them, but also confirm their cooperation in the anomalous release of funds to her NGOs and remittance of the commissions or rebates for the senator as previously agreed upon.”

The report said that based on the 2007 to 2009 records of the Department of Budget and Management, Enrile was allotted P920 million in PDAF allocations. On March 6, 2007, alone, Enrile received P141 million with various special allotment release orders.

“The speed with which funds were released and disbursed as well as the open disregard of budget and procurement regulations, implied a deliberate intent to disburse the funds regardless of the applicable rules on the matter,” the papers said.

An executive summary of the NBI complaint indicated that Enrile, Estrada and Revilla received a total of P581,140,750 in kickbacks for allowing Napoles to use their pork barrel allocations meant to ease poverty in the countryside.

RELATED STORIES:

3 senators in ‘pork’ scandal face ethics raps
Ombudsman OKs pork scam raps vs. Napoles, 3 senators

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TAGS: Janet Lim Napoles, Juan Ponce Enrile, mastermind, Ombudsman, pork barrel scam, Senate
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