MANILA, Philippines – Two more witnesses showed up at the Senate Thursday and identified Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce-Enrile as well as senators Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. as the legislators who had allegedly endorsed their priority development assistance fund (PDAF) to non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to Janet Lim-Napoles.
Under grilling by Senator Teofisto Guingona III, former National Agribusiness Corporation (Nabcor) president Alan Javellana named the three senators as among those who funnelled their PDAF to Social Development Program for Farmers Foundations Inc. (SDPFFI), Magsasakang Ani para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc. (MAMFI), and People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation Incorporated – three of eight NGOs linked to Napoles.
Nabcor was the implementing agency allegedly used by some legislators to siphon off their priority development assistance fund (PDAF) , a euphemism for “pork barrel” fund, to questionable NGOs.
“Which legislators funnelled their funds through Nabcor to these NGOs – the eight NGOs?” asked Guingona, chairman of the Senate blue ribbon committee investigating the “pork barrel” scam.
“Senator Revilla, Senator Enrile and Senator Estrada,” Javellana said.
Javellana said Senator Gregorio “Gringo Honasan also coursed his PDAF through Nabcor but it did not go to the NGOs identified with Napoles.
Another witness, Rhodora Mendoza, former vice president for administration and finance of Nabcor, corroborated Javellana’s testimony.
“I’m very sure of the three senators— Revilla, Estrada and Enrile,” said Mendoza.
Mendoza was not among those invited as resource persons in the hearing, but she was called from the gallery on Javellana’s suggestion.
Mendoza, also responding to Guingona’s questioning, also admitted that she had met whistle-blower Benhur Luy several times because the latter had been following up about his NGO, Social Development Program for Farmers Foundations Inc. (SDPFFI).
It was Luy, who she said introduced her to Napoles.
“I met her once… I was invited in the thanksgiving Mass in Discovery Suites,” Mendoza told the committee, referring to Napoles, the alleged mastermind in the P10-billion “pork barrel” scam.
And when asked who were the legislators who had coursed their PDAF through Nabcor, Mendoza mentioned the names of Revilla, Enrile and Estrada.
Mendoza said the three senators endorsed their PDAF to SDPFF1, MAMFI, and People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation Inc.
Mendoza said Enrile endorsed the use of his PDAF for all three NGOs, while Estrada allegedly funnelled his funds to SDPFII and MAMFI while Revilla’s PDAF went to MAMFI.
The witness also mentioned the names of some congressmen whose PDAF were allegedly transferred to either SDPFII and MAMFI.
Mendoza said it was only Enrile, who used his PDAF to the People’s Organization for Progress and Development Foundation Inc.
Most of the legislators themselves, she said, signed the endorsement letters and the releases of funds to the NGOs while a few had assigned somebody from their offices.
She said she did not find anything suspicious about the transactions.
“Wala naman, they are complying so far,” Mendoza said, responding to queries.