MANILA, Philippines –Is the shoe now on the other foot, for some of Janet Lim-Napoles’ accusers? It would seem that way, as the reported brains behind the infamous P10-billion pork barrel scam has pointed the finger at the them, saying that they allegedly received campaign funds from her.
Aside from pinpointing several lawmakers, she likewise claimed that it was Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad who, then Batanes congressman, who taught her the “ins and outs” of the bureaucracy so as to facilitate taking advantage of government projects and their corresponding budgets.
As expected, Abad vehemently denied the businesswoman’s claims, refuting her sequencing of events that supposedly led up to her being the key-player of the P10-billion scam. Abad said that Napoles’ allegations are constantly changing, and filled with discrepancies.
Napoles prepared a 32-page expanded affidavit, mostly written in Filipino, in which she identified incumbent Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano, Senator Francis “Chiz” Escudero and former Senator Manny Villar as having received unspecified amounts in campaign funds from her.
“I gave money for the campaign of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano in the election. We met for that purpose at the SLICE restaurant in Bonifacio Global City,” Napoles alleged.
Napoles claims that she personally handed Cayetano the unspecified amount in 2013, for the senatorial and local elections.
In the case of Escudero, Napoles said they were introduced by Congressman Ompong Plaza before the 2010 presidential elections inside a private room of a Chinese restaurant at EDSA Shangrila Hotel.
“Doon ako ay kinumbising financial na suportahan siya sa kanyang pagtakbo bilang presidente [There I was persuaded into giving financial support to his then bid to run for president],” Napoles said.
Napoles detailed another meeting between them as having taken place at the Taste of LA Restaurant, months after the elections.
“Pinag-usapan namin ang mga proyektong na maaari niyang ibigay sa akin. Nag-abot ulit ako sa kanya ng pera ng hapong iyon ngunit walang proyektong natuloy [We discussed the projects he could give me. I handed over money again to him, though no projects got through],” Napoles said.
She likewise expounded that her connections with Villar paved the way for an introduction by a certain Rene Maglanque from the Department of Transportation and Communications to a certain Jun Adriano. Maglanque who served on the DOTC in President Gloria Arroyo’s time now sits as mayor of Candaba, Pampanga.
“Pinakilala ni Rene Maglanque si Jun Adriano para sa project nila sa DOTC na inahente nila sa akin. Si Jun naman pinakilala ako kay Sen. Manny Villar [Rene Maglanque introduced Jun Adriano to me for their DOTC project that they wanted me to pursue. And then Jun introduced me to Sen. Manny Villar],” Napoles said.
She recounted her meeting with Villar as having taken place at an unspecified location on Shaw Boluevard, where she allegedly him campaign funds because it was asked. She did not, however, specify the amount given, nor to whom it was handed over.
Napoles also said that she was baited to participate in the fund-skimming scam by “well-connected individuals” such Budget Secretary Florencio “Butch” Abad, Technology Resource Center director general-on leave Dennis Cunanan and former presidential social secretary Ruby Chan Tuason.
She further identified 20 incumbent and former senators – seven of them retired and one already dead – 100 congressmen, 14 government officials, and at least 50 agents on her widely-publicized “Napolist.”
The 10 incumbent senators are Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada, Gregorio Honasan, Manuel “Lito” Lapid, Loren Legarda, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III, Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr., Vicente Sotto III and Cynthia Villar.
Napoles also named the late Sen. Robert Barbers along with former Senators Rodolfo Biazon, Luisa “Loi” Estrada, Robert Jaworski, Ramon Magsaysay Jr., Teresa Aquino-Oreta and Aquilino “Nene” Aquilino Jr. as among those who allegedly received funds from her through various channels.
In addition, she claimed that ome members of the House of Representatives not only misused their PDAF allocation, but also acted as “agents” from time to time; for which she pinpointed Reps. Clavel Martinez, Maite Defensor and Margie Tahon as well as now Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) Zenaida Ducut.
Ducut supposedly acted as an agent of Lapid as well as Reps. Eduardo Veloso, Marc Douglas Cagas, Arnulfo Fuentebella, Florencio Miraflores, Manuel Ortega, Victor Ortega, Prospero Pichay and Abdullah Dimaporo.
As for Abad, Napoles cited him as Number 1 one the list; saying that he supposedly influenced her to take part in the PDAF scam after she met him through Manuel Jarmin, acting director of the Livestock Development Council (LDC), an agency under the Department of Agriculture (DA) in 2000
“We met at the Japanese restaurant in EDSA Shangri-la Plaza Hotel. In that meeting, he told me about a project worth P10 million. He showed me the Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) then explained to me what it was for. Before the meeting ended, I handed him P2 million. When the notice of cash allocation (NCA) was released, I gave him another P2 million. Afterwards, when we talked about the implementation, he asked me if I had an NGO (non-government organization). When I told him I did not have an NGO, he told me he would take care of it. From what I recall, he used Batanes Electric Cooperative to implement the project. After some time, he returned the P4 million I gave him with an added P2 million more. That is when I started to transact using the PDAF,” Napoles said in her 53-page affidavit.
Abad has staunchly denied tutoring Napoles or any of the whistle-blowers who were once in her employ.