Enrile OK'd checks to 'pork scam' whistleblowers: COA

Posted at 08/08/2014 6:15 PM | Updated as of 08/09/2014 1:46 AM

MANILA - State prosecutors presented Commission on Audit (COA) Assistant Commissioner Susan Garcia during the bail hearing of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles at the Sandiganbayan Third Division on Friday.

Garcia presented 9 Special Allotment Release Orders (SAROs) from Senator Juan Pone Enrile in connection with the multibillion-peso anomaly.

Garcia said Enrile authorized his former chief of staff, Atty. Gigi Reyes, and deputy chief of staff Jose Antonio Evangelista to release checks to whistleblowers Benhur Luy, Marina Sula, and Merlina Suñas, all former employees of Napoles.

Napoles' name was not mentioned during the hearing, which will continue next week.

Names of senators and former senators, however, were mentioned by Garcia upon questioning by the prosecution.

She said about 100 legislators were investigated by the COA Special Audit Office. They include Richard Gordon, Gregorio Honasan, Edgardo Angara, and Juan Miguel Zubiri.

Meanwhile, before the hearing ended, Napoles' lawyer Stephen David said he will be requesting the court to issue a subpoena for the bank accounts of Luy, Sula and Suñas.

Justice Samuel Martires, however, told him that it might violate the Bank Secrecy Law since the 3 are not accused in the case.

In an ambush interview later, David said he believes the 3 are considered "accused and conspirators" in the pork barrel scam.