MANILA, Philippines – It was not just a lawmaker known as “Sexy” who benefited from alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles. Even Sexy’s driver got a Christmas bonus.
This is one of the entries included in the digital records of principal whistleblower Benhur Luy. His hard drive was a plethora of files detailing Napoles’ daily transactions and activities – from the kickbacks she supposedly gave officials and their agents, to the politicians she invited to her parties, down to the tikoy (Chinese rice cake) her office purchased.
Senate blue ribbon committee chairman Teofisto “TG” Guingona III released Luy’s files to the media a day after the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) submitted it to his office on Wednesday, May 28. The contents of the files are similar to those the Philippine Daily Inquirer reported about in its 12-part series.
The files of Napoles’ former finance officer showed that she did not just give kickbacks to the officials she dealt with, she even shouldered some of their other expenses. In an entry dated “1/6/10,” Luy wrote, “Cash for Driver of Sexy-Xmas Bonus, P5,000.00.”
Luy earlier testified that “Sexy” was the codename for one of the senators Napoles transacted with. Newspaper reports had identified Senator Jinggoy Estrada as “Sexy,” a charge he joked about but denied. He was referred to as “Sexy” because of his visible loss of weight. (READ: Sexy? Jinggoy: I don’t know Benhur Luy)
The Luy files are a dizzying collection of documents ranging from those listing individual officials’ kickbacks, draft endorsement letters, delivery and acceptance reports of alleged bogus projects, and even mp3 files of religious songs.
The NBI classified them into the following categories:
- Word Document Files
- Excel Document Files
- PDF Files
- ODS Files
- ODT Files
- Deleted Files
- Recovered Files
Contrary to reports, Luy did not make one list of officials Napoles allegedly transacted with. Instead, he documented her financial dealings by day, month, and year from 2003 to 2012, which accounts for the volume of the files. The files consist mainly of entries with names, phrases and numbers, and are not in narrative form.
Yet an initial scan of the records equivalent to 31,700 pages yields inputs on how Napoles supposedly ran one of the country’s biggest and most sophisticated corruption scandals. Here are some things we got from the Luy files:
1. The 3 senators charged with plunder before the Office of the Ombudsman allegedly transacted with Napoles even before 2007.
Estrada, and Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr, and Juan Ponce Enrile face plunder charges for allegedly funneling pork barrel funds to Napoles’ bogus non-governmental organizations in exchange for millions of pesos in kickbacks. The case against them is largely based on the Commission on Audit report, which covered the years 2007 to 2009.
Yet Luy’s files showed that the 3 senators allegedly had dealings with Napoles even way before that. Their names constantly appeared in Luy’s records.
An August 30, 2005 entry states, “Ruby Tuazon (sic)-Partial payment of commission charge from Sen. Enrile Project 31.9M” with the payment worth P500,000.
Socialite Ruby Tuason has admitted being a bagman for Enrile and Revilla.
On June 29, 2005, Luy recorded, “ATTY RICHARD CAMBE-1st Cash advance charge from PDAF 20M 2004 of Sen. Revilla Proj” with the amount worth P100,000. Cambe is Revilla’s political staff.
Estrada was also listed on November 11, 2005: “WASHINGTON PLAZA-For Cabadbaran and Tubay charge to Sen Jinggoy Estrada Proj.”
Revilla’s and Estrada’s parents were also included in the files as former senators. In the file named “CA bigshot1,” former Senator Ramon Revilla Sr was listed as having a total cash advance of P11 million with the name “Rowena Meniola” under “Remarks.”
Former Senator Loi Estrada’s name appeared in multiple files. One Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) project in 2005 worth P15 million had the heading “Sen. Loi Estrada c/o Sen Jinggoy Estrada.”
It was unclear what “c/o” means. The files though confirmed that Napoles’ aides also gave Senator Jinggoy Estrada the “Anak” codename, in relation to “Inay,” which supposedly refers to Loi. (READ: Loi Estrada also channeled pork barrel to Napoles)
2. The transactions were not limited to PDAF.
While the focus of the investigation has been on PDAF, Luy’s files listed other types of funds like budgetary insertions and savings.
An entry dated 8/19-20/2008 stated, “ANAK-Cash Advance charge to 25M TLRC Insertion” with the amount worth P1 million.”
A September 2005 file had the record: “ATTY. ZENY DUCUT/ARTHUR YAP-Rebate and comm of Ducut and Senator DA Savings” worth P2.5 million.
3. Bolante, Drilon, Miriam and other officials are also in the files.
Although not as frequent as the 3 opposition senators, the names of other officials, including administration allies, appear in the files.
A new entry is a “USEC BOLANTE,” with cash advance of P30,950,000. This is a possible reference to former agriculture undersecretary Jocelyn “Jocjoc” Bolante who like Napoles was implicated in the fertilizer fund scam. The file was created on June 11, 2004.
Senate President Franklin Drilon’s name appeared in a draft, unsigned endorsement letter addressed to Budget Secretary Florencio Abad requesting P100 million in financial assistance to the Department of Agrarian Reform for “livelihood projects.”
“SENATOR FRANKLIN DRILON AND FAMILY” was also included in the list of guests for “MLL 4TH BIRTHDAY IN HEAVEN,” likely referring to the fourth death anniversary of Napoles’ mother. Drilon has said Napoles was just a social acquaintance.
Also in that guest list was “SEC RENE VILLA AND FAMILY,” a possible reference to Drilon ally Rene Villa, who resigned as acting chairman of the Local Water Utilities Administration after he was linked to Napoles. An entry dated 2/24/10 also listed, “Sec. Villa-Office (15 Instruction) – 500,000.00.”
Candaba, Pampanga Mayor Rene Maglanque frequently appeared in Luy’s kickback ledger, supposedly receiving funds ranging from cash advances to legal fees. Drilon’s critics said it was Maglanque who introduced Napoles to him, a charge the ruling Liberal Party (LP) vehemently denied. (READ: LP disowns mayor, mum on Drilon-Napoles link)
Like Drilon, Senator Ralph Recto’s name appeared in a draft letter to Agrarian Reform Secretary Virgilio delos Reyes. Recto has since obtained a letter from Reyes’ office that he wrote no such letter.
As then Taguig Representative, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano was listed as having a Department of Transportation and Communications project involving the supply of communication equipment. The project was P3 million with the remarks “VLL.” He has denied receiving any money from Napoles and knowing a “VLL.”
Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago was listed in entries dated September 30, 2005. “ATTY ZENY DUCUT-Full payment of rebate charge from Sen. Defensor-Santiago DA Savings” worth P2.5 million. Santiago has dismissed the Luy files as “mudslinging” after initially hailing their credibility.
Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) chief Joel Villanueva appeared in a separate file with the heading CONG JOEL VILLANUEVA CIBAC PARTYLIST. The project allegedly involved P3 million for the Department of Agriculture-CARAGA. Villanueva has denied the charge, with President Benigno Aquino III even defending him.
Former presidential son Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo was also listed several times, with one entry in March 2005 stating, “5% Comm. Charge from 10.0M PDAF-DA of Cong. Miranda” with the amount P500,000.”
4. Napoles gave auditors, inspectors ‘SOP,’ knew officials’ birthdays.
Napoles did not just focus on high-level officials. To cover her tracks, she also allegedly paid off inspectors and auditors on a regular basis.
The database included entries labeled as “SOP” for “DOTC-INSPECTOR,” and a January 30, 2006 file with the phrase “D.A. COA c/o Atty Villamor-SOP for the COA” worth P200,000.”
Napoles also made sure she remembered officials’ birthdays. There was one file with the heading “List of Friends and Birthdays” which included “HON. CONRADO MASONSONG ESTRELLA.”
She also supposedly gave money to people connected to her graft case involving the purchase of Kevlar helmets for the Marines. One entry on March 14, 2005 stated “KEVLAR GUYS c/o Ada Flores” worth P5,000. (READ: How Janet Lim-Napoles got away)
5. Napoles paid for politicos’ streamers, fogging machines.
Besides a Christmas bonus for Sexy’s drivers, Napoles also allegedly took care of politicians’ expenses.
Aside from kickbacks, Ducut supposedly got freebies. Two entries with voucher numbers 01-0335 and 01-0336 stated, “CONG DUCUT-STREAMER” worth P6,000 and P20,000.
Yet there was a more bizarre entry. On August 29, 2005, Luy wrote, “CONG RODOLFO PLAZA-Purchase of Fogging Machine” worth P89,300.00.
While the details and entries may be intriguing, only Luy’s testimony and supporting documents can make sense of what the names, phrases and numbers mean. – Rappler.com