MANILA (Mabuhay) – Aside from dipping into lawmakers’ pork barrel funds, alleged pork scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles also got her hands on funds given to government agencies including a P407 million allocation for computers under the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC).
Levito Baligod, lawyer of the whistle-blowers in the alleged P10 billion pork barrel scam, said the whistle-blowers are developing a new set of charges based on information that government funds not part of lawmakers’ priority development assistance funds (PDAF) were also coursed through fake non-government organizations (NGOs) set up by Napoles.
He said P407 million in DOTC funds intended for the purchase of computers were coursed through Jo-Chris Trading, a company owned by Napoles.
“Ayon sa kanila, walang delivery (ng computers) at walang bidding at lahat yun na-award sa kumpanya ni Gng. Napoles. That is one of the cases we are developing,” he said.
He said students could have increased their knowledge on computers if the project was implemented properly.
Whistle-blowers earlier said Napoles approached officials and offered a 50% cut of any pork barrel-funded project coursed through her foundations. Napoles is currently incarcerated on a serious illegal detention charge filed by key whistle-blower Benhur Luy.
Baligod noted the wide reach of Napoles in government, saying that many lawmakers and even local government officials wanted to avail of her services.
He said that aside from PDAF, Napoles also got funds from agencies such as the Department of Agrarian Reform and National Agricultural and Fishery Council.
He said some of the stolen funds were for projects that were supposed to be implemented in Mindanao.
“Ang paborito kasi nun Mindanao because it is harder to audit. Region 13 is one of their favorites,” he said.
Baligod said whistle-blowers also confirmed that former congresswoman and current Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Zenaida Ducut was an “agent” for several lawmakers who did business with the alleged pork scam mastermind.
He said Ducut started working with Napoles after her stint in Congress.
“She was no longer a congresswoman so she didn’t have PDAF. As I understand it, she was appointed in 2008 but during that time she had transactions with Napoles as an agent. She was agent while chairperson of ERC,” he said.
He said the whistle-blowers have no doubts that Ducut is involved in the scam.
“Direcho po kasi sa kanyang bank account yung commission for legislators or sa sarili niyang commission,” he said.(MNS)