Mat Ranillo willing to surface, source says

Posted at 02/13/14 9:00 PM

MANILA -- Actor Mat Ranillo III has expressed willingness to return to the Philippines after his name was dragged into the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam, according to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

An ABS-CBN News source said the NBI has already located Ranillo and has talked to him.

Ranillo is now consulting with his lawyers for the affidavit that he will submit to the NBI, the source said.

ABS-CBN North America's Yong Chavez said she has also spoken with Ranillo's lawyer, who is gathering information on allegations against his client.

Ruby Tuason, a former aide of ex-President Joseph "Erap" Estrada, claimed in her affidavit that Ranillo delivered over P11 million in pork barrel kickbacks to Justa Tantoco, a friend of the Estrada family.

Tuason claimed that the money was meant for Senator Jinggoy Estrada as "kickback" from his priority development assistance funds (PDAF) that were funneled to bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) set up by Janet Lim Napoles.

Ranillo also allegedly received payment vouchers from Napoles' JLN Corporation.

During the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on Thursday, pork scam key whistleblower Benhur Luy said Ranillo was one of the agents tapped by the Napoles in Congress.

Luy said Ranillo was a conduit of kickbacks for Estrada through the senator's appointments secretary, Pauline Labayen.

Napoles wanted to stop paying commissions to Ranillo in 2006 because she wanted to deal directly with Estrada, Luy said.

He said Ranillo even has documents of his transactions with Napoles.

Senator Antonio Trillanes has moved to subpoena Ranillo to attend the next hearing of the Blue Ribbon Committee on the pork barrel scam. -- Reports from Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News; Yong Chavez, ABS-CBN North America