HIGHLIGHTS: Cunanan testifies at the Senate

Dennis Cunanan, who is on indefinite leave as director general of the Technology Resource Center (TRC), is set to testify before the Senate.

MANILA, Philippines – Dennis Cunanan, who is on indefinite leave as director general of the Technology Resource Center (TRC), testified before the Senate blue ribbon committee on the pork barrel scam on Thursday, March 6.

The TRC has been identified by state auditors as one of the government corporations where the Priority Development Assistance Fund of senators and congressmen were channeled to end up with the fake non-governmental organizations of Janet Lim Napoles and other financiers.

Cunanan, who has allegedly received kickbacks for facilitating the transactions, is among the respondents in a plunder complaint filed by the justice department before the Ombudsman. (READ: 38 charged in pork barrel scam)

He is so far a “provisional state witness,” with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima finding his testimony “essential and corroborative” in pinning down at least 3 opposition senators: Ramon Revilla Jr, Jinggoy Estrada, and Juan Ponce Enrile. Cunanan claims to have spoken to the senators to check if their signatures on the letters endorsing Napoles’ NGOs were authentic. (READ: P348-M senators’ pork misused by TRC in Cunanan’s time)

Watch highlights of the hearing below.

Recently, reports of Cunanan’s alleged unexplained wealth surfaced, prompting him to say he is willing to go through a lifestyle check as well, to support his claim that he did not receive kickbacks from the scam. He challenged the 3 senators to the same. (READ: Cunanan to senators: Go through lifestyle check)

Thursday’s hearing will bring Cunanan face to face with principal whistleblower Benhur Luy who, Rappler sources said, has been worried how their testimonies would jibe. Luy and other former Napoles employees maintain that Cunanan got PDAF kickbacks, but the justice department is presenting the TRC chief based on an affidavit that he did not benefit from the illegal transactions. (READ: Why Luy dropped Baligod as counsel)  

Follow updates via our liveblog.

Read Cunanan’s affidavit below.

– Rappler.com

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