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Two more respondents ready to tell all on ‘pork’ scam

Posted On 2014 Feb 21
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Senate President Franklin Drilon, chair of the Commission on Appointment, confirmed on Wednesday (Feb. 19) the appointment of Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio P. Catapang, Jr. and 17 other Generals/Flag and Senior Officers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines at the Senate Bldg., Pasay City. (MNS photo)

Senate President Franklin Drilon, chair of the Commission on Appointment, confirmed on Wednesday (Feb. 19) the appointment of Lt. Gen. Gregorio Pio P. Catapang, Jr. and 17 other Generals/Flag and Senior Officers in the Armed Forces of the Philippines at the Senate Bldg., Pasay City. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Feb 20 (Mabuhay) – Aside from former Technology Resource Center director general Dennis Cunanan, two more respondents in the pork barrel scam have expressed readiness to testify against those allegedly involved in the misuse of government funds.

Rhodora Mendoza and Victor Roman Cacal, former vice president for administration and finance and former general services supervisor of the National Agri-Business Corp. (NAGCOR) respectively, said they know how the lawmakers’ Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) got into bogus non-government organizations linked to Janet Lim-Napoles.

Napoles has been tagged as the alleged mastermind in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.

Mendoza and Cacal have denied accusations that they plundered government money. The two are among the 39 respondents in the plunder complaint filed before the Ombudsman.

The two claimed that they signed the checks for Napoles’ NGOs upon the order of their superiors.

Mendoza and Cacal both feared that their respective families will bear the brunt of their alleged link in the scam, including their decision to come out.

Ang hirap pong balansehin, kailangan mong gumising araw-araw para magtrabaho, iisipin mong malayo ka sa mga anak and we’re thinking about their security while you’re away and you cannot protect them 24 hours a day,” Mendoza said.

Kung sa pamamagitan ko somehow may maiayos sa sistema ng gobyerno kasi kawawa po yung next generation,” she added.

Senate hearing

During the Senate blue ribbon committee hearing on the pork barrel scam in September 2013, Mendoza said she was “very sure” that principal whistleblower Benhur Luy went to the NABCOR office with endorsement letters from Senators Bong Revilla Jr., Jinggoy Estrada and Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile.

She also admitted that Luy, then president of Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation Inc. (SDPFFI), had frequented the NABCOR office. She added that she was invited by Luy to a thanksgiving Mass to personally meet Napoles.

SDPFFI is one of the bogus NGOs allegedly used by Napoles in the scam.

Aside from the three senators, Mendoza also identified 10 incumbent and former members of the House of Representatives who supposedly gave their pork barrel funds to Napoles NGOs.

These were incumbent House members Conrado Estrella III and Victor Ortega and former Representatives Erwin Chiongbian, Rodolfo Plaza, Samuel Dangwa, Edgar Valdez, Mark Douglas Cagas IV, Rizalina Lanete, Arthur Pingoy Jr. and Rodolfo Valencia.

Possible state witness

On Wednesday night, lawyer Levito Baligod said Cunanan is ready to belie claims of Revilla that he did not benefit from the scam.

Baligod said Cunanan has applied to be a state witness as early as last year. Cunanan is one of the 39 respondents in the plunder complaint filed with the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the scam.

Last week, Ruby Tuason, a self-confessed go-between, testified before the Senate blue ribbon committee on how she supposedly delivered bagfuls of kickback from the pork barrel scam to Estrada and Gigi Reyes, former chief-of-staff of Enrile.  (MNS)

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