Tupas: My signatures were forged

Posted at 12/16/2013 8:15 PM | Updated as of 12/16/2013 8:15 PM

MANILA - Iloilo Rep. Niel Tupas Jr. on Monday said his signatures were forged in documents linking him to the alleged pork barrel scam perpetrated by another group led by Godofredo Roque Jr.

Tupas said the allegations linking him to the alleged scam came from a group linked to a political rival in his district.

"I already explained it [to Commission on Audit]. Wala akong pinirmahan release of fund in any way. The complaint came from a group linked to my local political enemy. Dati pa yun 2010, 2011. Old story 'no," he said.

He said he did not authorize the disbursements of any money, and that he already wrote COA to red flag the transaction.

The Godofredo Roque group is supposedly engaged in a pork barrel scam similar to that perpetrated by Janet Lim Napoles.

The Department of Justice is set to begin its investigation of the Roque group soon.

De Lima earlier said Roque’s case would be treated separately from that of alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim-Napoles, which has been the focus of the NBI probe.

Labor group Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino (BMP) earlier said Tupas himself admitted that he signed the documents naming the NGOs of Godofredo Roque as beneficiaries under his Special Allocation Release Order (SARO).

BMP national president Leody de Guzman alleged that Tupas gave P17.49 million of his PDAF for the projects of National Agribusiness Corp. (NABCOR) and the National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC).

De Guzman said the funds went to Kabuhayan at Kalusugan Alay sa Masa Foundation Inc. (KKAMFI), an NGO which was allegedly endorsed by Tupas to NABCOR and NLDC.

KKAMFI is supposedly an NGO of Roque, who was able to amass around P1 billion in PDAF based on reports.

“Even if these politicians are allies of the President, your office should not tolerate their questionable acts. We are hoping that your agency will conduct a thorough investigation on the matter and that they would be made answerable before the court the soonest possible time,” BMP said.