NBI: Bong Revilla pocketed P224.5M 'pork'
MANILA (UPDATE) - Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. earned more than P224.5 million in kickbacks from businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles in the pork barrel scam, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said.
Senator Jinggoy Estrada pocketed P183.79 million and former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile got P172.8 million, according to the NBI, in its executive summary of the plunder complaints against the lawmakers, Napoles, and others allegedly involved in the scam.
The two other lawmakers accused of plunder are former Rep. Rizalina Seachon-Lanete, who allegedly earned P108.4 million, and former Rep. Edgar Valdez, P56 million.
The legislators conspired with Napoles and officials of implementing agencies in various transactions through misappropriation, conversion, misuse, and malversation of their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the NBI said.
The NBI also accused 3 other congressmen of malversation, direct bribery and other graft and corrupt practices. The amounts involved in these complaints are less than the P50 million threshold for plunder.
Napoles allegedly gave P42.1 million to former Rep. Rodolfo Plaza, P26.77 million to former Rep. Samuel Dangwa, and P20.8 million to former Rep. Constantino Jaraula.
A total of 48 people were sued in connection with the scam. They include lawmakers' chiefs of staff and representatives, heads and officials of implementing agencies, and presidents of NGOs allegedly set up by Napoles.
Revilla: Don't judge us
Revilla on Monday urged the public not to prejudge them.
"The truth will come out. Hintayin natin iyung tamang oras para magsalita," he said.
Estrada, meanwhile, was combative.
"They are conditioning the mind of the public that we are the worst thieves, and that I cannot accept," he said.
Estrada said he will face the charges head-on.
"Kailanman ay hindi ko dinungisan o balak dungisan ang pangalan ng aming pamilya," said the senator, a son of former President and now Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada.
The former President was found guilty of plunder in 2007 but was pardoned by then President Gloria Arroyo.
Incomplete and hasty probe, says JPE lawyer
Enrile, meanwhile, said in a statement that the Department of Justice filed the case after an "incomplete, hasty, and partial investigation."
"That investigation has been accompanied by repeated and deliberate 'leaks' and the turnover of 17 boxes of documentary evidence to the DOJ three days after the Department revealed and the President confirmed that a conclusion had already been reached," he said, through said lawyer Enrique dela Cruz.
"Let me make clear that I am innocent of the charges filed against me," Enrile said. "The Filipino people are entitled to a thorough, complete, and impartial investigation so that whatever his rank, whoever is guilty is punished and the innocent are exonerated. That is not the kind of investigation that has been done."
"I therefore trust that the Ombudsman will conduct a thorough, complete, and impartial investigation under due process of law so that justice be done to all. It is with this trust that I will law my case before her. I am therefore ready to fully and honestly cooperate with the investigation to discover not just the truth but the whole truth," he added.
Enrile was brought to a hospital over the weekend after he complained of difficulty in urinating and high blood pressure.
He remained at the Makati Medical Center on Monday.
How the pork scam worked
The NBI, its executive summary, said the pork barrel scam starts with an agreement between Napoles and lawmakers, who promise the businesswoman of designating her NGOs as recipients of PDAF.
In exchange, the lawmaker gets 40% to 60% of the cash value of the project as kickback.
The legislator submits a list of projects to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which in turn issues a Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) to the lawmaker.
The lawmaker endorses a Napoles NGO to an implementing agency, which in turn enters into an agreement with the NGO without any public bidding.
The DBM issues a notice of cash allocation to the implementing agency, which then issues a check to the Napoles NGO.
Napoles' employees deposit the check and later withdraw the money for delivery to the businesswoman.
The NBI said a lawmaker's kickback is paid in advance, and the chief of staff or representative also gets a cut.
The official of the implementing agency involved also gets a 10% commission, the bureau said.
Napoles pockets the rest of the money. - with a report from Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News