BY PRINCE GOLEZ
MANILA – Businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles has identified five former congressmen from Western Visayas in signed affidavits listing legislators who purportedly transacted their pork barrels with her.
The Senate released Napoles’ two signed affidavits last night identifying legislators whose Priority Development Assistance Funds were allegedly coursed through her.
Napoles named a total of 100 incumbent and former congressmen and 20 current and past senators.
The five former congressmen from Region 6 were Narciso Monfort of the 4th District of Iloilo, Rolex Suplico of the 5th District of Iloilo, Florencio Miraflores (Lone District of Aklan and now governor of the province), Ignacio Arroyo of the 5th District of Negros Occidental and Edgar Espinosa of the Lone District of Guimaras.
Monfort and Arroyo are now deceased.
Monfort served as congressman from 1987 to 1992 and from 1995 to 2004. He died in 2005.
Arroyo served his district from 2004 until January 2012 when he succumbed to a liver ailment.
Napoles also identified the “agents” of the four allegedly transacting with her.
She listed Clavel Martinez as agent of Monfort, Arman Padilla as agent of Suplico, Zenaida Ducut as agent of Miraflores, and couple Ruby and Carlos “Butch” Tuazon as agents of Arroyo.
Martinez had been a congresswoman representing a district in Cebu.
Ducut is the current chair of the Energy Regulatory Commission. She had served as congresswoman.
Napoles’ list did not identify any agent for Espinosa. However, she stated the following in her affidavit: “May transaksyon kami sa DA, NAFC at DOTC.”
The businesswoman added: “Kumuha siya ng rebate para sa mga proyekto na ito ng 40 percent. Meron pa siyang kinuhang cash advance na hindi pa nababayaran.”
She, however, did not say when the alleged transaction happened.
Espinosa served as congressman of Guimaras from 2001 to 2007.
According to Napoles, in 2004, she “implemented” a project of Miraflores – worth P2 million – under the Department of Agriculture – National Agricultural and Fishery Council (DA-NAFC).
Also in 2004, the businesswoman claimed in her affidavit, “Nagbigay ako ng advance na dalawang milyong piso sa pondo sa Commission on Appointments ni Cong. Monfort kay Cong. Martinez ngunit iba ang nag-implement ng project na ito.”
It was also in 2004 that she had a transaction with Suplico, Napoles alleged.
She remembered Suplico as being a member of the minority bloc back then.
According to Napoles, Suplico received rebates for his P3.74-million project (delivery of computers) in 2004.
The project was implemented by the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), she alleged.
“Ako ang pina-deliver ni Padilla nung project ng minority bloc na inimplement ng DOTC. Siya ang nag-facilitate ng lahat ng papers at nagpapirma sa mga congressmen at nagdala sa DOTC ng papeles. Ako lang nag-deliver ng produkto. Siya din kumuha ng rebate na 30 percent para sa mga congressmen ng minority bloc,” she further alleged.
Regarding the now deceased Cong. Arroyo, brother of former First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo, Napoles claimed his kickbacks were allegedly coursed through the Tuazons.
Carlos “Butch” Tuazon was a cousin of the Arroyos.
Napoles said she implemented then Cong. Arroyo’s projects under the DOTC and DA-NAFC.
“May project sa DOTC na nagkakahalaga ng P10 million. Yung rebate binigay kay Ruby at Butch, naghati sila; 30 percent daw kay Iggy, 10 percent kay Butch at 10 percent kay Ruby,” Napoles said.
She went on: “Sa DA-NAFC naman, may P5 million. Yung 50 percent rebate kinuha ni Butch sa opisina tapos nag full deliver kami pero yung agency 15 percent lang ang binayad sa amin. Yung natira na budget imbis na ibayad sa amin, inimplement ng ibang NGO / foundation dahil ibinenta ng kanyang chief-of-staff na si Bong Roado dun sa ibang NGO/foundation.”
In media interviews two weeks ago when his name was reported to be in several so-called lists of Napoles albeit still unverified, Suplico right away denied having had any transactions with the businesswoman.
He also denied ever knowing Napoles.
Suplico had served as congressman from 1998 to 2007. He said he did not have “pork” projects between 2002 to 2007 because the then Arroyo administration withheld his Priority Development Assistance Fund, he being a member of the opposition.
Miraflores and Espinosa could not be reached for comment as of press time.
The alleged “agents” of the four former congressmen could not be reached for comment, too, as of this writing.
Sen. Teofisto Guingona III, chair of the Blue Ribbon Committee, ordered the release of copies of Napoles’ affidavits.
“In the spirit of transparency and the search of truth, and in line with my commitment to uphold the public interest, we are going to release to the media and the public and to my fellow senators, the copies of these two affidavits,” Guingona said in a press conference.
He also said his committee “will wait for the Benhur Luy files.”
In her affidavit, Napoles said she prayed for months before deciding to name names.
“I am not the mastermind of the pork barrel because I didn’t start this; this has long been practice or system,’’ she said.
Napoles denied being “the most guilty.”/PN