Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
MANILA, Philippines — The number of senators that dealt with Janet Lim Napoles to defraud Filipinos of billions of pesos in pork barrel funds would be enough to constitute a quorum, the number of members needed to conduct business in the Senate or at least 13, former Sen. Panfilo Lacson said on Wednesday.
Lacson made the revelation in a radio interview weeks after he met with Napoles’ husband Jimmy and was given documents related to Napoles’ scam, including draft affidavits and a list of of senators and House members she transacted with.
“It’s less than 19 but it’s enough to constitute a quorum. There were many names listed not only those from the Senate but also those from the House. There are names that I never thought would be included but were there,” Lacson said in a radio interview.
Some media groups, quoting unnamed sources, reported that Napoles implicated 19 former and incumbent senators in the multi-billion-peso pork barrel scam that she allegedly ran in the late 2000s.
Asked if it was possible that other government allocations apart from the priority development assistance fund were funneled to Napoles’ fake non-government organizations, Lacson said, “There were many such cases.”
“Savings that were awarded, allocated and there were also kickbacks. They didn’t just come from the P200 million [a year priority development assistance fund of senators]…. They also came from appropriations for departments. These were to be used by senators or congressmen to allocate to the foundations of Mrs. Napoles and that’s where they get their kickbacks,” Lacson said.
Lacson added that there appeared to be one more senator that received bigger kickbacks from his or her dealings with Napoles compared to those allegedly received by the three already charged before the Ombudsman, Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and Sen. Ramon Revilla, Jr.
Lacson said the senator that got the largest kickback from Napoles’ modus operandi has not been named in the media or in any of the investigations conducted on the P10-billion pork barrel fund scam.
“The complete document is not yet with me but all I can say is that those amounts [attributed to Enrile, Estrada and Revilla] are huge but there’s one who got a bigger amount but have yet to be mentioned,” Lacson said.
Asked if it was possible that a senator, who could be quite outspoken in criticizing lawmakers implicated in the pork scam, could be mentioned in Napoles’ tell-all, Lacson said, “That’s possible.”
Lacson said he met Jimmy Napoles at his office as rehabilitation czar at the Bonifacio Global City in Taguig. He said the meeting happened either on March or on March 25.