The businesswoman implicated in the P10-billion ghost project scam involving legislators’ pork barrel funds has fired back with her own accusations against a probable witness in the case.
This was Napoles’ response to allegations that she is the “mother of all scams,” after being implicated in multi-billion peso ghost projects being probed by the National Bureau of Investigation.
Her accuser, Luy, said Napoles’ company JLN Corporation was tapped in ghost projects of the government, including the fertilizer fund scam, the Malampaya fund scam, and several other projects implemented with money coming from the Priority Development Assistance Fund.
The ghost projects were pegged in one report as totalling P10 billion worth, and the scam had allegedly been going on for 10 years.
“Wow, napakalaki niyan, P10 billion. Buong release na ‘yan ng Kongreso at Senado. So bakit for 10 years ngayon lang sila nagsalita?” Napoles said, frowning.
Sitting with her legs crossed and her hands on her lap, Napoles appeared calm. However, her voice rose as she called for proof of the accusations against her.
A report on the Philippine Daily Inquirer, which broke the story on the alleged scam, named five senators and 23 members of the House of Representatives who have allegedly made their PDAF allocations available to Napoles’ group.
According to the article, Senator Bong Revilla topped the list with 22 instances recorded at the Securities and Exchange Commission.
“Pigilan niyo ako. Because I want to kill or be killed. This morning when I read the newspapers, I really wanted to nuke the entire Senate building because although every person is presumed to be innocent that banner headline story is reportedly supported by an affidavit of an eyewitness,” Santiago said.
Luy earlier claimed being detained against his will by Napoles after finding out Luy was planning to set up a similar company to compete with Napoles.’
In the interview, Napoles again denied that her company entered into any transactions with the senators or any of their representatives. “Wala po,” she said, shaking her head.
But she admitted that she was acquainted with some of the senators. “Mayroong iba kilala dahil ‘yung anak naman magkakaibigan minsan, eh ilan lang naman ang marangal na unibersidad dito. Mag-classmate, pero wala kaming transaksyon sa kanila,” she said.
In a statement, Enrile denied knowing Napoles or receiving any bribes for the utilization of his Priority Development Assistance Fund.
“I do not know Ms. Janet Lim Napoles, nor have I had any personal or business transactions with her or her company. I have not received any bribe or in any way financially benefited from nor in exchange for the utilization of my PDAF. I am submitting myself to a full investigation and audit of all my PDAF allocations over the years I served as senator,” Enrile said in a statement shown in the Saksi report.
Meanwhile, Marcos and Revilla said the issue may be linked to the 2016 elections.
“I am eager to cooperate with any investigation, which will reveal the truth of this matter. I am also exploring the possibility that there may be a political angle to all this in light of the upcoming Presidential elections in 2016,” Marcos said.
“Hindi totoo and mga akusasyon na nakinabang ako sa usaping ito… Porke ba may mga nagtutulak sa ating tumakbo sa 2016 ay wawasakin na nila ang aking pangalan?” Revilla said.
For his part, Honasan called for evidence. “All records re: use of development funds being managed by my office are subject to accounting and auditiing procedures according to law,” Honasan said.