Ochoa confirms Jinggoy request for P250M project
But says budget department didn't act on it
MANILA - Executive Secretary Jojo Ochoa is allegedly included in the deleted files of pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy. But Malacanang is standing by the so-called "little President."
Ochoa was evasive on Friday when the media kept asking him about his possible involvement In the multibillion-peso scam.
He refused to comment on the deleted files of Luy, which included one named "200 M Sexy Ochoa."
The Philippine Daily Inquirer, which got hold of the so-called "Benhur files," first named Ochoa in an unsigned letter addressed to the executive secretary.
In a text statement sent by the Ochoa's office on Friday, he admitted that there was a letter sent by Senator Jinggoy Estrada asking for a project worth P250 million.
The letter was then endorsed to the Budget Department, which did not act on Estrada's request.
Ochoa was once linked to alleged pork barrel queen Janet Lim Napoles, when his law firm took the case of Napoles in an alleged anomalous helmet deal with the military back in 2002.
Malacanang is defending Ochoa.
"The deleted files purportedly pertain to unsigned draft letters addressed to certain lawmakers and to Secretary Ochoa. Hence, this could hardly be considered as having any probative value," Communications Secretary Sonny Coloma said in a press briefing.
Also among the deleted data is a file named "Pinoy Request."
There's also a similar draft letter addressed to President Benigno Aquino himself.
"Kaya nga't ang sinabi ng ating Pangulo ay dapat maging mapagmatyag at magpamasid ang mga mamamayan at huwag pahintulutang sila ay malinlang o maligaw," Coloma said.
Malacanang said the public should always rely on concrete evidence. - with ANC