Escudero admits meeting Napoles
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero on Friday admitted meeting Janet Lim-Napoles when he was still congressman but said no offer was made in connection with his “pork barrel” funds.
Escudero categorically said “yes” when asked in a television interview if he had ever met Napoles.
Asked again when the meeting took place, the senator said: “A long time ago in Congress. I don’t remember when and how, but it was Jenny Lim not Janet Napoles.”
“Actually it was only my staff who reminded me that I met her already. It’s probably an official function, but I don’t remember the circumstances surrounding it,” he said.
But Escudero said no offer was made when he met Napoles, the alleged mastermind of the “pork barrel” scam.
“I met her, pero walang offer, walang, “Uy, PDAF” no such thing. I just met her in one of… in an occasion somewhere. I don’t even remember when I was a congressman, malamang madalas nasa Kongreso yun,” he said.
(I met her but there was no offer, no ‘hey, PDAF’, no such thing. I met her in one of . . . in an occasion somewhere. I don’t even remember when I was a congressman, it seems she was in Congress often.)
PDAF is Priority Development Assistance Fund also known as “pork barrel” funds.
Besides, Escudero pointed out that he had no PDAF from 2007 to 2009 during the time of then President and now Pampanga Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
He said all his PDAF prior to this period were allocated and published in a book which he said was released and given to his constituents, media and to the local government units.
“I never allocate and I do not allocate to NGOs (non- government organizations) even when I was a senator,” said Escudero.
He said he only started getting “pork” release when President Benigno Aquino III assumed office in 2010.
Escudero also laughed off reports that he had received P500,000 cash from Napoles herself.
“(It was) not true. I had no dealings with Napoles. I also didn’t receive anything from her and I am ready to prove that whenever the accusation is raised,” he further said.
Escudero was among the senators that Napoles has identified in her “pork” list that was submitted to the Senate blue ribbon committee Thursday.
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