Napoles sourced ‘advanced’ kickbacks from Malampaya

Ayee Macaraig

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Benhur Luy and another whistleblower Merlina Suñas detail the connection between the pork barrel scam and the alleged misuse of the Malampaya Fund

MORE REVELATIONS. Benhur Luy talks about the Malampaya Fund at a Senate hearing on Sept 26, 2013.

MANILA, Philippines – Janet Lim Napoles had so much money she was able to give lawmakers their kickbacks in advance. Her source? The Malampaya fund.

Principal whistleblower Benhur Luy made this statement as he returned to testify in the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee probe into the multi-billion pork barrel scam.

On Thursday, September 26, Luy and whistleblower Merlina Suñas detailed the connection between the two controversies Napoles is linked to: the pork barrel scam and the alleged corruption in the Malampaya Fund. 

Suñas, a former employee of Napoles’ JLN Corp, narrated that the Napoles employees will prepare documents of Napoles’ non-governmental organizations – from letter requests, memoranda of agreement, project proposals and even the liquidation. 

She said after getting the full payment from the implementing agency, they will remit all of the money to Napoles.

Luy then said, “Liquid po si Ms Napoles kaya po niyang magpaluwal kasi kumukuha po siya sa DAR. 50% upon listing, 50% upon SARO. Pagkatapos namin i-remit kay Ms Napoles, wala nang hatian kasi pinaluwal na niya nang nauna.”

(Ms Napoles has a lot of money that is why she is able to give kickbacks even before she gets the full payment from the implementing agency. She is able to give 50% upon listing, 50% upon SARO. After we remit the money to Ms Napoles, she no longer splits the money because she already gave advance payment.)

Upon questioning from senators, Luy said Napoles sourced the “advance payment” from the P900 million Napoles got from the Malampaya Fund allocation to the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

Luy said, “P900 million lang po ang nakulimbat ni Ms Napoles sa Malampaya.” (Ms Napoles was only able to pocket P900 million from the Malampaya Fund)

Rappler earlier reported that the P900 million proceeds from the Malampaya Fund is the biggest single contract cornered by Napoles since she began siphoning off government funds to dubious NGOs. The Malampaya Fund consists of royalties collected from operations of the Malampaya gas and oil fields in the waters off Palawan province. 

READ: How the Malampaya Fund was plundered

The Malampaya controversy is different from the pork barrel scam, where lawmakers allegedly channel their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) to fake non-governmental NGOs in exchange for kickbacks amounting to 50% of the project.

Earlier in the hearing, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said her department will soon be filing a case in relation to the Malampaya and the second batch of cases involving the pork barrel fund. 

READ: Plunder complaints filed vs Enrile and others

Sen Teofisto “TG” Guingona III said the committee is also keen on investigating the Malampaya Fund controversy after the PDAF scam.

Party list, fake beneficiaries 

Suñas said that from 2007 to 2009, Napoles’ company made no deliveries in all their transactions. Yet in the last quarter of 2010 to 2012, it had to make deliveries to local government units because the PDAF of lawmakers were downloaded to these, as required by the so-called menu of the Department of Budget and Management (DBM).

Nakakausap namin ang mayors at sabi nila, ‘Di pwedeng walang delivery sa LGU kasi may COA rin kami (resident auditors). Ayaw din namin masira,” Suñas said.

(We have mayor contacts who told us, “You can’t have ghost deliveries in LGUs because we also have resident auditors. We don’t want to be tainted.”)

Luy explained that from 2007 to 2009, Napoles’ companies got funds from the following implementing agencies: National Livelihood Development Corp (NLDC), National Agribusiness Corp (NABCOR), and the Technology and Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC).

Luy said, “Pagdating sa agencies na yun, doon na lang kami nagliquidate. From there, magsubmit kami ng beneficiaries. Sinu-sino based on our list. May ilang list, totoo galing sa mayors, may iba nirecycle na lang. May iba wala, ginagawa na lang po namin.”

(When it comes to these agencies, we liquidate the funds to them. From there, we submit the list of beneficiaries based on our list. Some of the list come from the mayors, some are recycled, and some we only make ourselves.)

Luy said Napoles was able to transact with local government units because she had connections with mayors.

May LGUs identified si Ms Napoles, madaling makasingil at kausap na niya. So may kausap na siya, ito ang babagsakan ng pondo.” (There were LGUs Ms Napoles identified as easy to get money from and easy to talk to. So she had contacts and this is where we allocate the fund.) 

Luy said though that it was easier for Napoles’ company to transact with senators and party list lawmakers.

Sa lower house, ang kinukuha ni Napoles halos party list kasi parang senador po, nationwide.” (In the lower house, Napoles dealth mostly with party list lawmakers because they are like a senator with a national constituency.)

Guingona to Drilon: Reconsider Napoles testimony

In her opening statement, De Lima said she complied with the subpoena to present the whistleblowers even if it was against her judgment. She again asked that the witnesses not be required to name the personalities involved, especially those who have not yet been charged.

“Bringing whistleblowers puts them and the case at greater risk. For some, this is the first time their face is shown to public. The NBI case build-up is still ongoing. Having witnesses say what they know can reveal parts of our legal strategy, and the identities of others still to be charged,” she said.

Yet Guingona had insisted on the presence of Suñas, Luy, Gertrudes Luy, Marina Sula, Arlene Baltazar, and Monette Briones.

The senator also announced that he wrote Senate President Franklin Drilon to reconsider his decision not to summon Napoles, upon the advice of the Ombudsman. The Ombudsman cited its confidentiality rule in advising the Senate against calling the alleged mastermind.

READ: Don’t block Napoles probe

Guingona said he will wait for Drilon’s decision in 3 days.

Sen Francis Escudero supported Guingona’s stand.

“Our job is to see to it that justice is done. It’s not a question of tactics or strategy but to ensure that the truth comes out whether it’s here or in the courtroom. The non-disclosure clause applies only to [the Ombudsman’s] office and only when there’s preliminary investigation. There’s none as we speak,” Escudero said. –


Add a comment

Sort by

There are no comments yet. Add your comment to start the conversation.

Summarize this article with AI

How does this make you feel?

Download the Rappler App!