In the Know: Enrile implicated in pork scam
Several documents and whistle-blowers have implicated Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile in the alleged P10-billion pork barrel scam that diverted lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to dubious nongovernment organizations (NGOs) of businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.
Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who has been vocal in her criticism of Enrile, has described Enrile as the godfather of the pork barrel scam.
When Napoles appeared at a hearing of the Senate blue ribbon committee on Nov. 7, Santiago said that Napoles, a high-school graduate from Basilan province, could not have built a pork barrel “empire” by herself.
The real empire builder had to be someone more intelligent and powerful than Napoles, Santiago said.
“He is,” Santiago said when asked if it really was Enrile.
“His paternity is unquestionable. His DNA has been confirmed,” she added.
On Sept. 16, the National Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed plunder and other charges in the Office of the Ombudsman against Napoles, Enrile, Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., and 34 others.
According to the executive summary of the NBI complaint, Enrile received P172,834,500 as his kickback in the proceeds of ghost projects.
Based on previous reports citing affidavits submitted by whistle-blowers and a report by the Commission on Audit (COA), Enrile allowed his pork barrel to be used by the Napoles NGOs on 21 occasions.
The COA report found that Napoles NGOs received P332.7 million from Enrile’s office from 2007 to 2009. According to 2012 reports by the COA and the Department of Budget and Management, Enrile gave P10 million to a Napoles NGO in one town.
At the same time, two former heads of government corporation National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor) testified that Enrile, along with Estrada and Revilla, had coursed millions of pesos from their pork barrel allocations through dubious NGOs, including those controlled by Napoles.
Rhodora Mendoza, former Nabcor vice president for administration and finance, told the Senate blue ribbon committee on Sept. 5. that Enrile, Estrada and Revilla signed letters endorsing NGOs linked to Napoles.
For his part, Alan Javellana, the president of Nabcor, told the Senate panel that the three senators had channeled parts of their PDAF to three of the eight NGOs identified with Napoles.
In addition, a witness said that in one of the notebooks containing records of Napoles’ alleged dealings with legislators, Enrile, Estrada and Revilla were referred to by code names.
The code names, according to the witness, are “Tanda” for Enrile, “Sexy” for Estrada and “Pogi” for Revilla.—Inquirer Research
Sources: Inquirer Archive