Pork scam witness bares more on Luy’s secret dealings with lawmakers
A WITNESS in the pork barrel scam gave more details on the supposed transactions of principal whistleblower Benhur Luy with lawmakers behind Janet Lim-Napoles’ back.
During the bail hearing of Masbate Governor Rizalina Seachon-Lanete who is facing a plunder case, Marina Sula said Luy and another witness, Merlina Suñas, opened a Maybank account in Buendia, Makati that once contained up to P30 million that was withdrawn later on.
Sula, Napoles’ property custodian, said that in December 2012, Napoles ordered her to close the said bank account containing funds for the dubious foundation People’s Organization for People’s Development Foundation Inc. (POPDFI).
Suñas is the president of POPDFI.
Sula said Napoles found out that Luy and Suñas were involved in a separate transaction with lawmakers. But Sula said she does not know the details of the transactions.
“Madame (Janet) found out that Benhur is making his own transactions like her own transactions… I think it’s the delivery of transactions like the one Janet Lim-Napoles’ transactions with lawmakers and nongovernment organizations (NGOs),” Sula said in the cross examination by Napoles’ lawyer Lanee David.
Upon the redirect examination of the prosecutor, Sula said Napoles expressly instructed her to return the remaining balance of P2,000 to her because she controls the said foundation.
Napoles’ lawyers had been claiming that Napoles had no hand in the creation of the spurious NGOs linked to her.
“‘Find out first the Maybank and close it and give the money to me, because POPDFI is mine,'” Sula quoted Napoles’ instructions to her.
When Attorney David asked her in the re-cross examination on the biggest amount the Maybank account contained, Sula said at least P30 million was withdrawn from it according to the statement of account.
Sula is Napoles’ property custodian who was said to have prepared the documentation for registration of Napoles’ dubious NGOs used to pilfer lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF) to ghost projects for kickbacks.
Napoles’ lawyers had been using the said bank account as their smoking gun that Luy and Suñas had their own pork barrel scheme and that they control the NGOs purportedly linked to Napoles.
Accused of conniving with purported pork barrel scam mastermind Napoles, Lanete, as former Masbate representative, was alleged to have pocketed P108.405 million siphoned from her PDAF from 2004 to 2010.
In its complaint, the Ombudsman said Lanete misused P112.29 million of PDAF from 2007 to 2009. Principal whistleblower Benhur Luy in his ledger said Lanete from 2004 to 2010 received P108.405 million in kickbacks, of which P73.065 million were siphoned from Lanete’s PDAF from 2007 to 2009.
In its indictment, the Ombudsman said, “Lanete continuously endorsed the implementation of her PDAF-funded livelihood and agricultural projects to questionable NGOs associated with or controlled by Napoles.”
Lanete is detained at the Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig with a fellow pork scam suspect Atty. Jessica Lucila “Gigi” Reyes, the chief of staff of detained Senator Juan Ponce Enrile.
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