Navigating the PDAF scam affidavits

MANILA, Philippines - At least 15 whistleblowers with links to alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles gave sworn statements to the National Bureau of Investigation. These affidavits were submitted both to the Ombudsman and the Senate blue ribbon committee.

On September 16, the justice department filed plunder complaints with the Office of the Ombudsman against 3 senators – Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr. The cases against them have been described as "airtight." Besides the 3 senators, 35 others were included in the first batch of complaints filed by Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. The complaints range from plunder to malversation, bribery and graft.

The affidavits are a riveting read because of the detailed knowledge that the witnesses had about transactions that allegedly involved lawmakers, their staff, other government officials and private individuals. The documents were released by the Senate blue ribbon committee and Rappler is uploading them for readers to appreciate for themselves.

Senators Estrada and Revilla have sought to discredit the affidavits, with Estrada saying they are all hearsay. He said his accusers cannot prove he supposedly received commissions from his pork barrel allocations which were channeled to fake non-governmental organizations linked to Napoles.

Revilla, on the other hand, has filed a damage suit before the Cavite Regional Trial Court against several whistleblowers. He has claimed his signature was forged in letters of request submitted to the budget department seeking the release of his pork barrel funds.

No prejudgment of the cases is being made in this effort to share the affidavits with you, Rappler readers. The Senate blue ribbon committee had allowed the livestream and telecast of its hearings, letting the public hear for themselves the accounts of the whistleblowers. 

In the spirit of transparency, Rappler is sharing with you, too, these documents which were the basis of the testimonies of the witnesses who appeared in the Senate or whose accounts had already been the basis of various news stories. 

We believe that "an informed citizenry is an empowered citizenry."

Guide to affidavits

To help navigate the voluminous affidavits, we prepared brief summaries that highlight information contained by the sworn statements. We also listed the pages that contain these specific details and information.

Hover over the letter "i" in the infographic below to see affidavits relevant to that person or witness. The affidavit can be magnified for easier reading. You may also click on the bottom right corner of the scribd square pop-out to see the page in full. 

There are 18 documents, including sworn statements from the following witnesses: 1) Nova Kay Batal-Macalintal and Gertrudes Kilapkilap-Luy dated April 18, 2013; 2) joint sworn statement of Benhur K. Luy, Merlina P. Suñas, Gertrudes K. Luy, and Annabelle Luy-Reario dated Aug 5, 2013; 3) Marina Sula dated Aug 29, 2013; 4) Mary Arlene B. Baltazar dated Aug 29, 2013; and 5) Simonette Briones dated Aug 29, 2013.

Other sworn statements included in this document cluster are those of: 6) Roman L. Briones dated Aug 29, 2013; 7) Vanessa A. Eman dated Sept 4, 2013; 8) Susan R. Victorino dated Sept 6, 2013; 9) additional from Marina Sula dated Sept 10, 2013; 10) joint additional sworn statements from Benhur Luy, Merlina Suñas, Gertrudes Luy, Nova Kay Macalintal, Elena S. Abundo, and Avelina C. Lingo dated Sept 11, 2013; 11) additional affidavit of Marina Sula dated Sept 12, 2013; and 12) Susan P. Garcia dated Sept 12, 2013.

This batch also includes additional affidavits from: 13) Nova Kay Batal; 14) Gertrudes Luy; 15) Merlina Suñas; 16) Benhur Luy. Included here too are 17) the letter and affidavit of Eduardo “Eddie” Baddeo dated July 22, 2013; and 18) affidavit of complaint of Atty Levito D. Baligod.

 

Pages 2-3. This joint sworn statement of Nova Kay Batal-Macalintal and Gertrudes Kilapkilap-Luy dated April 18, 2013 says that Janet Lim Napoles ordered employees of her JLN Corp to set up foundations for the implementation of the Malampaya Fund, with the Department of Agrarian Reform as implementing agency. Trustees and presidents were employees of JLN Corp while other names were fictional. 

Macalintal and Gertrudes Luy say they were among those named presidents of the foundations. They say JLN employees asked them to sign documents and withdrawal slips for the foundations, upon orders of Napoles. They say to their surprise, the money withdrawn using the withdrawal slips went to Napoles.

Pages 4-6. This affidavit of fashion designer Eduardo “Eddie” Baddeo dated July 22, 2013 says Napoles was a client who eventually offered him a “sideline” to ask mayors to sign letter requests supposedly to benefit their farmer-constituents. Baddeo says Napoles offered the sideline because she knew he had many politician customers.

Baddeo says he contacted mayors from 2006 to 2007 to sign the letters but stopped when two mayors told him that similar letters in the past led to ghost deliveries. Baddeo says he forwarded 44 signed letters to Napoles and was promised P275,000 for each. Napoles did not make good on her promise.  

Annexes A to RR (page 11-54) are copies of the letters Baddeo had the mayors sign, and were stamped and signed received by JLN Corp. The letters are addressed to then Agriculture Secretary Arthur Yap, asking P5 million for the city or town’s Agricultural Enhancement Program supposedly to buy farm implements. 

Pages 7-16. This sworn statement of Benhur Luy, Merlina Suñas, Gertrudes Luy and Annabelle Luy Reario dated Aug 5, 2013 details their roles in the creation and operations of Napoles foundations. It contains the list of the 21 foundations, and the list of 23 presidents and incorporators of the NGOs, who are Napoles’ employees, relatives, friends and even helpers. They say some officers consented to their names being used while others were unaware; they also say and their signatures were forged.  They also say the following:

Pages 17-64. This sworn statement of Marina Sula dated Aug 29, 2013 says she worked for Napoles starting 1997, eventually becoming a finance clerk and a president of one of her foundations. Sula says Napoles instructed her to create bogus foundations, with the list of the NGOs and the corresponding presidents found in this affidavit. The names of the officers which came from telephone directories, were those of dead people or those supplied by the presidents without their consent. She also discloses the following:

Pages 65-67. This sworn statement of Mary Arlene Baltazar dated Aug 29, 2013 says she was a freelance bookkeeper of JLN Corp and a president of one of the Napoles NGOs. Baltazar submitted a list of her relatives as officers of the NGO and claimed she forged the signatures of her members. She also signed blank withdrawal slips and forged signatures of beneficiaries of NGO projects. She belatedly found out about ghost deliveries in the projects. In January, Napoles instructed her and other employees to shred documents of the foundations. She kept a flash drive of her records in JLN.

Pages 68-72. This sworn statement of Simonette Briones dated Aug 29, 2013 says her aunt, Marina Sula, asked her to become president of Napoles’ CARED NGO. She gave other names of members for the NGO without their consent. Briones says Napoles ordered her to open a Land Bank account and sign many blank withdrawal slips. She says she did not know anything about the projects and operations of CARED and received no money for the foundation.

Briones says when the pork barrel scam was made public, Napoles asked her and other employees to execute an affidavit implicating Benhur Luy. She said Cheryl Jimenea set up a meeting in August with lawyer Alex Tan in Trinoma, where Tan asked Napoles employees to implicate a certain “bakla,” who they understood to mean Luy.

Annex A is the affidavit Napoles asked Briones to execute to implicate Benhur Luy.

Page 73 The sworn statement of Roman Briones dated Aug 29, 2013 essentially says his name was provided by his wife Simonette Briones to Marina Sula – upon the request of Janet Napoles – to fill in the needed number of names of officers and members of the board of trustees required by the Securities and Exchange Commission to register the non-governmental organization CARED [Countrywide Agri & Economic Development]. This was done without his knowledge.

Pages 74-75 The sworn statement of Vanessa A. Eman says she witnessed the large amounts of money brought to the Ayala Alabang and Pacific Plaza homes of Janet Napoles. Employed as household help, she was among those who helped count the bundles of money inside bags brought by other Napoles employees.

Pages 76-80 The sworn statement of Susan Victorino says she first met Marina Sula in 2009. It was from 2009 to 2012 that she issued audit certificates for some of the JLN corporations and foundations/NGOs. 

Pages 81-87 The additional sworn statement of Marina Sula lists the incorporators of two NGOs, the Countrywide Agri & Rural Economic Development Foundation Inc and the Masaganang Ani para sa Magsasaka Foundation Inc. She also says that balance transfers were made from the NGO accounts to the accounts of Janet Napoles in Metrobank, Magdalena and J. Abad Santos branches.

Pages 88-119 The joint additional sworn affidavits of Benhur Luy, Merlina Suñas, Gertrudes Luy, Nova Kay Macalintal, Elena S. Abundo, and Avelina C. Lingo dated Sept 11, 2013 say the following:

Pages 120-199 The additional sworn affidavit of Marina Sula dated Sept 12, 2013 (inclusive of annexes) says the following:

Pages 200-204 The sworn statement of Susan Garcia, director of the Special Audits Office of the Commission on Audit executed on Sept 12, 2013, says they audited the 2007-2009 PDAF of lawmakers and that 8 of the 20 NGOs were recipients of funds from lawmakers. She says that the basis of their audit report are various documents submitted by different implementing agencies. There were 19 members of the audit team whose members are listed.

Pages 205-208 The start of the testimony of Nova Kay Batal Macalintal dated Sept 12, 2013 mentions places she has gone to with her boss, including the home of Sen Jinggoy Estrada. She also mentions names of other lawmakers she has seen Napoles speak to. Macalintal is Napoles' personal aide.

Pages 209-210 Macalintal says Napoles often gave money to Ruby Tuason, and says she personally delivered money of up to P5 million to her condominium. She says Napoles also gives P2,000-P3,000 each to nuns and Monsignor Josefino Ramirez.

Pages 211-212 Macalintal says she only found out she was president of Tanglaw Para sa Magsasaka Foundation, one of the NGOs associated with the Malampaya Fund, when COA sent her a letter in November 2011. 

Page 213 contains the Annex.

Pages 214-220 The sworn statement of Gertrudes Kilapkilap Luy dated Sept 12, 2013 says she has helped in counting Napoles' bags of cash, which contain amounts from P5 million to P50 million. She says she only found out she was president of Bukirin Tanglaw Foundation, linked with the Malampaya Fund, through her son Benhur.

Pages 221-223 Luy mentions personalities she has seen Napoles speak to, and says Sen Bong Revilla often frequented parties of Napoles at Heritage Park. She explains she left Napoles after they detained her son Benhur Luy in their Magallanes home.

Pages 224-225 Macalintal is told of her rights and what the investigation is about, Macalintal verifies Levito Baligod is her counsel, and signs the document.

Pages 226-230 The sworn statement of Merlina Pablo Suñas dated Sept 12, 2013 says the company transacted with various local government units (LGUs) and government agencies like the Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), National Livelihood Development Corporation (NLDC), National Agribusiness Corporation (NABCOR), Technology Resource Center (TRC). Suñas was a JLN employee for 12 years.

Pages 231-236 Suñas decribes the process of how Napoles was able to get government funds through her NGOs, and says they sent drafts of endorsement letters to Senators Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile and Bong Revilla. Of 20 Napoles-owned NGOs, she says 8 are used for PDAF, including 3 used for the Fertilizer Fund. 12 are used for the Malampaya Fund. She says she helped prepare documents for LGUs, and government agencies like the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), among others. She says ghost delieveries were made between 2007-2010 to government projects Napoles' NGOs were linked with, but because rules got tighter from 2011-2012, Napoles made some deliveries. Suñas says the distribution of commissions from PDAF was 50% to lawmakers, 5% to their chiefs of staff, 10% to the implementing agency, and 35% to Napoles

Pages 237-240 Suñas says senators receive their kickbacks on 3 occasions: when they list Napoles NGOs as beneficiaries in documents submitted to the DBM, when the SARO is released by the DBM, and when NCAs are released. She mentions names of senators' staff who also receive cash, and says they sometimes pick up the kickbacks from the JLN office or the cash is sent to their homes.She says Napoles had bank accounts in Metro Bank Ortigas, Metro Bank Global at the Fort, and Land Bank Greenhills where they withdrew the money from.

Page 241 Suñas mentions names of congressmen who gave their PDAF to Napoles NGOs including Congresspersons Edgar Valdez, Prospero Plaza, Conrado Estrella, Jesnar Falcon, Maximo Rodrigues, Constantino Jaraula, Samuel Dangwa, Rizalina Seachon-Lanete and Erwin Chiongbian

Pages 242-250 Suñas lists the 12 NGOs that used to take money from the Malampaya Fund. She narrates how Napoles told them she got P900 million from DAR, and details how they prepared documents and forged 97 signatures of mayors to take the money. Suñas also describes the direct involvement of Napoles' children Jo Christine and James Cristopher in forging documents for the Malamapaya Fund, and names DAR Secretary Nasser Pangandaman and Undersecretary Narciso Nieto as also having played a role in the transaction.She testifies that Napoles' NGO did not deliver anything, resulting in 100% ghost projects. She says once they received the money, she and Napoles' staff faked liquidation reports submitted to DAR.

Pages 251-253 Suñas details the process of how they got money from the Fertilizer Fund from the DA, and names the politicians who were involved. She says congressmen received up to P5 million, while mayors got somewhere between P1 million and P2.5 million.Unlike the Malampaya Fund, Suñas says they made some deliveries but the anomaly was in overpricing of liquid fertilizers from P75 per package to P800. She said only a portion of the P725 million Napoles got from the Fertilizer Fund went to Napoles.

Pages 254-256 Suñas mentions Susan Victorino and Mario dela Cruz as Napoles' independent auditors who are in charge of the NGOs. She says transactions with Napoles and the government started in 2004 and testifies that Janet Napoles is the mastermind of the scam, and names the other companies under her name.

Pages 257-284 Contain the Annexes

Pages 285-294 The sworn statement of Benhur Luy dated Sept 12, 2013 explains his background with Napoles and says he worked as her personal assistant since 2002. He says all financial transactions of Napoles were entrusted to him, and talks about the background of JLN Corporation, which he said Napoles set up in 2000. He says he was made president of an NGO, Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation (SDPFF) in 2004, but he did not find out about it until 2007.

Pages 295-301 Luy talks about Napoles creating NGOs to pocket government money from government agencies like DOTC, TLRC, NABCOR, NLDC, ZREC and LGUs. He says Napoles supplied the DOTC with handheld radios but there were also ghost deliveries, getting her in trouble. The transaction was primarily taken care of by Ronald John Lim, Napoles' brother.Luy also talks about the specific NGOs used for specific government agencies. He details the process of the pork barrel scam, and how much commission lawmakers received. Luy says senators and congressmen got 40% to 50% of their PDAF as kickbacks.He lists those who regularly transact with JLN Corporation: Senators Estrada, Enrile and Revilla, and Congressmen Dangwa, Plaza, Jaraula, Valdez and Lanete.Luy also describes the involvement of Napoles' brother Reynald Jojo Lim and her daughter Jo Christine in the scheme.

Pages 302-305 Luy lists the codenames of lawmakers and their chiefs of staff involved in the scam, including “Tanda” for Sen Juan Ponce Enrile,Sexy/Anak/Kuya” for Sen Jinggoy Estrada, and “Pogi” for Sen Bong Revilla. For congressmen, it was “Bonjing” for Rodolfo Plaza, “Guerera” for Rizalina Seachon-Lanete, “Bulaklak” for Samuel Dangwa, “Suha” for Arthur Pingoy, and “Kuryente” for Edgar Valdez. He also names the conduits of the lawmakers who they directly communicate with to facilitate the release of funds like Ruby Tuason and Jessica “Gigi” Reyes for Enrile, Pauline Labayen for Estrada, Atty Richard Cambe for Revilla, Carlos Lozada and Evelyn de Leon for Dangwa, and Jose Sumalpong for Lanete. Meanwhile Plaza, Jaraula and Valdez all transacted with Napoles directly.Luy says he has directly given rebates to the staff of senators and congressmen, as well as some congressmen directly.

Pages 306-309 Luy says a certain Lyn Ranillo and Matt Ranillo, friends of Napoles, introduced Labayen to Napoles. He says the Ranillos, along with Fernando Ramirez, Napoles' driver, delivered money to Labayen's house in Dasmariñas Village, Makati. Luy says Napoles' transactions with the government are faster than usual because of her contacts in the DBM, specifically Undersecretary Mario Relampagos and Lea, Malou and Lalaine who are all assigned in Relampagos' office. He also names the bank accounts where the money goes through, and mentions the names of bank workers who release the cash to them.

Pages 310-311 Luy talks about Napoles' practice of buying dollars from the black market when she has too much money. And of transferring the NGOs' funds to accounts of corporations controlled by Napoles. He says Napoles uses the dollars to purchase properties abroad and sustain the lifestyles of her daughter Jeane Napoles and brother Reynald Lim. Both live abroad.He also names bank accounts used by Napoles abroad, including one each in Irvine, CA; San Diego, CA; Pasadeña, CA; Orange, CA and one in Manhattan Village.

Pages 312-315 Luy explains how they liquidate the government funds they receive with the help of lawyers Mark Oliveros, Editah Talaboc, Raymund Tansip and Joshua Lapuz, who allow them to use their notarial books, dry seal, stamps and signatures to notarize any and all documents in exchange for money. He also names Mario de la Cruz and Susan Victorino, accountants under Napoles' paycheck, who sign off on disbursement reports. He says JLN Corp prepared fake liquidation reports. Luy also mentions ghost projects from 2006-2011, but adds that because of more stringent rules from 2011-2012, Napoles started transacting with LGUs. Luy also mentions the suppliers they named in their projects.

Pages 316-317 Luy details the split of rebates: 40-50% for lawmakers, 5% for their chiefs-of-staff, 10% for implementing agencies, 1% for NGO presidents. He says COA and the Accounting and Bids and Award Committee of the implementing agency also receive commissions.He says those who received kickbacks include Allan Javellana of NABCOR, Dennis Cunanan and Antonio Ortiz of TLRC, Ofelia Agawin of ZREC and Gigi Buenaventura and Alexis Sevidal of NLDC. Luy says he kept a record of the SAROs to prove the transactions.

Pages 318-322 Luy talks about the NGOs used for the Malampaya Fund and names their presidents. He details the process and mentions the names of those involved, including a Rodrigo Galaya who helped with scanning the letterheads of LGUs to use for their letters of request. He says they also used the Malampaya funds to buy dollars from the black market as they did with PDAF.

Pages 323-325 Luy names the NGOs used by Napoles to take funds from the Fertilizer Fund in 2004. He describes the scheme and says the transaction was different because, unlike the other scams, they delivered fertilizer to beneficiaries, except that these were substandard. He says in 2007, Napoles also got P200 million worth of funds from the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP-DAR) and says the case is now with the Ombudsman.

Pages 326-337 contain the Annexes

Page 338 The affidavit of complaint of Atty Levito Baligod says he is the legal counsel of the whistleblowers, and that he signs as a co-complainant to file the appropriate cases to those guilty of misusing public funds.
 

View the full set of documents below:

– Chay F. Hofileña, Ayee Macaraig, Natashya Gutierrez/Rappler.com

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