Now, Napoles points finger at Tuason
MANILA, Philippines—Janet Lim-Napoles tagged former Malacañang social secretary Ruby Tuason as the one who coaxed her into converting proceeds from the Malampaya gas project purportedly into campaign funds in 2010, and took much of the kickbacks.
Napoles, who dealt with Tuason on projects involving the pork barrel of lawmakers, said it all started when Tuason showed her a list of government funds amounting to P25 billion from Malacañang.
“She was then talking to a certain Medy Poblador while explaining at the same time the list of government funds,” Napoles said in a separate 53-page affidavit submitted on Monday to the Senate blue ribbon committee, which released it to reporters.
Napoles said Tuason referred her to the P900-million Malampaya Fund that would be coursed through the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), and handed her a special allotment release order (Saro) dated Nov. 19, 2009. The money was ostensibly for victims of Storms “Ondoy” and “Pepeng” that year.
“I was then reluctant to accept the offer considering the huge amount, but she told me her ‘boss’ named ‘RR’ is a Little DBM (Department of Budget and Management),” she said.
Napoles claimed that the funds would be released because these would be used for Lakas, the political party of then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, in the 2010 presidential election.
Of the P900 million in Malampaya Fund, Napoles said they agreed that a 60-percent “rebate,” or P540 million, would go to Tuason; 35 percent would be used for the purchase of goods; and 5 percent for a foundation.
Napoles said she agreed to the 60-percent rebate for Tuason given the “arrangements” for the project.
Under the deal, Tuason would pick the local government unit that would be used as a beneficiary, and was in charge of processing the documents and asking officials to sign documents.
Napoles, on the other hand, would deliver goods to the local government unit (LGU).
Once the DAR released the check, Tuason provided Napoles a list of 97 mayors and their municipalities. On Tuason’s instructions, Napoles delivered the P540 million to Tuason’s address on Zagu Street in Dasmariñas Village, Makati City.
After the money was delivered, Tuason failed to give her the names of the coordinators who would arrange the delivery of goods. A few days later, Tuason went to see Napoles, asking for the P315 million for the purchase of goods, Napoles said.
“She told me that the deliveries should be made in cash instead of goods to the mayors because they wanted funds for their election campaign,” she said.
Napoles said she initially refused to release the amount, but Tuason insisted on this.
“I felt trapped at that time because if I don’t give in to her request, I won’t be able to comply with the liquidation requirements. Thus I was forced to hand her the 35 percent because I did not want to have problems later on,” she said.
After she delivered the money, Napoles said she was handed the list of beneficiaries.
“During the transaction, whenever I requested Ruby to follow up about the documentation of the project, I often hear her talking to a certain Medy Poblador to follow up,” she said.
During this period, Tuason was able to build a P300-million house on Mahogany Street in Dasmarinas Village, Makati City, Napoles said.
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