Chavit Singson admits meeting Napoles before
MANILA, Philippines – Former Ilocos Sur governor Luis “Chavit” Singson has admitted to meeting with alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
In an interview over Radyo Inquirer 990AM on Thursday, Singson said he has met Napoles in one of his election campaign sorties where she offered him a fertilizer deal.
“In passing lang nakipagkilala (I just met her in passing),” Singson said of the alleged mastermind of a scam of pillaging lawmakers’ public funds to ghost projects for kickbacks.
“[O]ffer sa aming mga gobernador at congressman mga fertilizer nung eleksyon. Pero hindi ko ginalaw. Dahil alam kong kalokohan ’yan (Napoles had offered the governors and congressman a fertilizer deal but I did not accept it. I know it’s not good),” Singson said.
Back in the 13th Congress, Napoles was subpoenaed for a Senate committee inquiry on the alleged fertilizer fund scam. The scam was about the purported diversion of fertilizer funds to the campaign kitty of former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, who was later cleared of having a hand in the scam.
Napoles then was tagged as the second biggest supplier of overpriced fertilizers.
“Pruweba ito na hindi ako kurap na gusto nilang i-picture sa akin (This is proof that I am not a corrupt person that they pictured me to be),” Singson said.
Singson also lauded the Sandiganbayan’s junking of the three counts of graft cases against him in connection with a complaint that had been sleeping in the Ombudsman for 10 years.
In a resolution, the division said Singson was deprived of his constitutional right to a speedy disposition of his case when the Ombudsman issued an order directing Singson and other respondents to submit their counter-affidavits on December 10, 2012, when the complainant Estelita Cordero had filed the suit on December 5, 2002.
The court said the Ombudsman took an “unusually long” time studying the complaint, and it would be unfair for Singson to prepare his defense nine years after the complaint was filed.
“’Yan ang sinadya nila na perwisyuhan at siraan ako. Kasi ang alam nila marami akong kalokohan nung panahon ni Arroyo. Malakas daw ako (They wanted to destroy my reputation deliberately because they judged me as a corrupt and powerful official during the Arroyo administration),” said Singson, a long-time Arroyo ally who accused predecessor former president and a drinking and gambling buddy Joseph Estrada as a jueteng protector.
According to the complaint, Singson, who was governor of Ilocos Sur from 1998 to 2001, entered into four memorandums of agreement with Multi-Line Food Processing International Inc. (MFPII) on Feb. 5 (P9.18 million), Feb. 20 (P4 million), May 28 (P3 million) and in June (P8 million), all in 2001.
The releases amounting to P24.18 million were allegedly intended to bankroll the private company’s unspecified livelihood projects. The allocations were supposedly obtained from Ilocos Sur’s share of the excise tax on tobacco.
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