Security officials testify vs suspended guard who asked P20K from Napoles lawyer
MANILA, Philippines–Security officials have submitted affidavits pertaining to the alleged solicitation of money by a Sandiganbayan guard from the lawyer of accused pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles.
A security official, who requested anonymity, said in his affidavit that on Dec. 2, he heard accused security guard Ronald Allan Gole Cruz saying that he was able to secure a sum of solicited money.
“At around 10:40 a.m., Mr. Gole Cruz arrived at the said post and talked to Mr. Armando Astor saying, ‘Pare, kung gusto mong magkapera, sama ka sa akin, malakihan ‘to. (If you want money, come with me. This is a large sum).’ That was what I clearly heard…” the official said in his affidavit.
“After that, I saw him holding an envelope coming from his pocket bearing the seal of Sandiganbayan and having a written message ‘Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year,'” the witness added.
Another witness, who also requested anonymity, said he was at the backdoor post on Dec. 1 when Napoles’ lawyer Stephen David dropped by to claim his ID and told him he will give the money “for the boys” the next day.
“I stopped by the backdoor post for a while to observe therein when suddenly Atty. Stephen David arrived from his hearing upstairs to claim his ID from the guard on duty and told us ‘O, bukas ko na lang ibibigay pamasko niyo ha! ‘Yung for the boys niyo, last week pa binigay sa akin ‘yung sobre para sa Christmas party niyo (I’ll give the Christmas cash gift tomorrow. This is for the boys. I was given the envelope last week for your Christmas party)’,” the source told INQUIRER.net as a portion of his affidavit.
The Sandiganbayan is investigating the purported grave misconduct prejudicial to public interest by Gole Cruz, who was placed under preventive suspension by the Supreme Court pending the investigation.
In a letter submitted to Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Amparo Cabotaje Tang and Associate Justice Samuel Martires, security officials accused Gole Cruz of soliciting P20,000 from David supposedly for a bogus Christmas party.
In the letter, Darwin Trinidad and Rodelio Lalongisip said Cruz first asked TV5 cameraman Dave Gonzales to deliver a solicitation letter to Atty. David in the men’s comfort room.
David then allegedly gave Gole Cruz the solicitation money on Dec. 2, after Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s bail hearing.
The security personnel denied Gole Cruz’s claim that there was a scheduled Christmas party for the security staff.
“We are praying that this matter be given due course for we cannot afford to let one rotten tomato destroy the image of the entire security force,” Trinidad and Lalongisip said.
Napoles faces plunder and graft charges for allegedly masterminding the elaborate scheme of diverting lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks. She is detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa female dormitory.
Also detained for plunder are Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile.
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