Napoles split PDAF money with lawmakers 50-50
Senators and congressmen who transacted with businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the multi-bullion pork barrel fund scam enjoyed a 50-50 percent sharing on the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the key witness in the multi-billion pork barrel fund scam on Thursday said.
Benhur Luy, the whistleblower in this case, bared this on Thursday at the continuation of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee’s investigation into the pork barrel scam but he withheld mentioning names of any lawmaker, their staff, heads of implementing agencies and other personalities supposed to be involved in the giving of pork barrel funds to fake non-government organizations (NGO).
Before presenting Luy, who was heavily guarded wearing a bullet-proof vest, Justice Secretary Leila De Lima initially requested the senators not to ask him names of the senators or congressmen who were implicated in the case since its probe is in aid of legislation.
Luy also said he did not personally see Napoles give any money to any senator or congressmen.
According to him, it would be a senior staff from the lawmaker’s office that would pick up the money at Napoles’ office.
In his testimony, Napoles, a second cousin of his, would exchange phone calls with legislators to discuss the transfer of their PDAF.
“Ang sistema kasi ng office si Madam (Napoles), nakikipag usap sa mga lawmakers, kung ano mapagkasunduan nila, lets say 50 percent. Kami ngayon, magsa- submit na kami ng listing,” he said.
According to Luy, they have contacts inside the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) and other implementing agencies who they call whenever pork barrel funds are downloaded.
He also identified the agencies as the National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC), the National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR), and the ZNAC Rubber Estate Corporation (ZREC).
Even the chiefs of staff of lawmakers also get a share from the transactions but it is Napoles who decides how much they should receive.
“May parte po ang mga chief of staff pero nasa discretion na po ni Madam yan. Minsan one percent; iba-iba po depende. Kasi sila po ang mga kausap namin sa mga tanggapan ng mga mambabatas,” Luy disclosed.
Part of their regular transaction is to withdraw from different banks and bring the cash to their offices.
“Umaabot ng P75-million ang pera sa opisina minsan. Galing sa iba’t ibang bangko. Kapag may natira sa disbursements inuuwi niya sa bahay,” said Luy.
Sometimes, Napoles herself would pay lawmakers in advance even if the money has not yet been released as long as the documents have been secured. But Napoles is a shrewd businesswoman.
“Nagpapaluwal siya kasi may mapagkukuhan siya ng pera. Pero sigurista si Madam, hindi siya magpapaluwal hanggang hindi siguradong ayos na ang mga dokumento para matiyak na makakakolekta siya,” he said.
Sometimes, the lawmakers themselves would offer their pork barrel allocations to Napoles’ group for these to be utilizedby their NGOs and foundations.
“Nagpupunta po ang mga mambabatas sa upisina naming para ialok ang kanilang priority development assistance funds (PDAF), inabutan ko na po ang sistemang ganito nung kunin niya ako sa pinagtatrabahuan kong ospital bilang medical techonlogist,” said Luy in response to a query of Senator Francis Escudero.
The money would be released to senators in cash, and at one time by manager’s check but it wasn’t named to a senator. On the other hand, lawmakers at the House of Representatives, would get their share through fund transfers either through their personal accounts or their chiefs of staff.
“Pag nasa foundation na ang tseke ipapasok na ito sa bangko, Metrobank, Landbank. Karamihan ng account namin ay Metrobank, pag nag-good, iwi-withdraw na, minsan no cash out kasi same bank. Pag sa Landbank iwi-withdraw dadalhin sa upisina, iuuwi na sa bahay,” Luy said.
His mother, Napoles’ aunt, is among those who receive the money and would bring the cash stashed in bags inside her house.
“Andun ang nanay ko na tita ni madam. Sila ang nagrerecieve ng pera, mula elevator hanggang masters bedroom sila magdadala,” he narrated.
“Dahil di kasya sa vault, ipapatong bag na may pera sa bedroom o sa baththub at doon na rin kukunin ang mga ibabayad niya sa mga kausap niya. Doon din niya kukunin yung ipambibili niya ng mga properties,” Luy added.
And contrary to Napoles’ assertion she had a coal business abroad, Luy said there was no truth to it.
“Wala pong ganun. Wala po,” said Luy as he also bared that Napoles family was not rich before.
“Mahirap lang sila dati. Taga Binan, Laguna pa sila. Late 2002, nung tinawag niya ako, nagulatna lang ako na nasa Ayala Alabang Village na siya,” he said.
According to Luy, their family used to be close. He knew his cousins, Napoles’ children Jeane and Jo Christine, James Christopher, and Christian.
“Naintihindian ko, naunawaan ko naman na parang contractor siya, nagta-transact sa gobyerno. So before that, wala ka alam kugn tumama siya sa lotto or anything. Nagbebenta pa kami ng mga anak nya ng mga ballpen,” he said.
He started to work with Napoles in 2002, when by chance he got reconnected with her family. Napoles, he said, invited him to work with her and promised to pay him much more than what he earns as a medical technologist at the Philippine Chinese General Hospital.
“Tatapatin daw nya sweldo ko sa Chinese General, pero di naman nangyari. So, I stayed sa bahay nya pa rin because she is a family member,” Luy said.
But while Napoles would splurge her contacts and lawmakers with lavish gifts, she would scrimp on her relatives and staff.
“Galante mag regalo.. sa mga kausap nya. Pero sa aming mga empleyado hindi. Siya mismo (bumibili) ng mga ire regalo,” he said saying most of the recipients of Napoles’ gifts are congressmen, senators and , head of implementing agencies.
Luy also admitted to Escudero that there were times he forged the signatures of some lawmakers in liquidation papers so that the next tranche of funds could be released immediately.
“Minsan po nagpoforge ako ng pirma pero ginagawa ko lamang ito base sa utos ni Madam matapos na makausap niya ang taong dapat na pumirma samga papel na kailangang pirmahan. Ina-acknowledge din po (ng mga opisyal) nila ang pirma ko,” he said.