MANILA - Why won't Technology Resource Center (TRC) director general Dennis Cunanan admit that he received pork barrel kickbacks from businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles?
Sen. Grace Poe has a theory.
Speaking to radio DZMM on Friday, Poe said it is possible that Cunanan might be afraid of losing a plum post in the Junior Chamber International (JCI) or Jaycees if he admits he pocketed bribes in the pork barrel scam.
"Bakit di na lang niya aminin at isoli niya yung P960,000? Para tumaas ang credibility niya? Ako, ang sa aking loob, kaya hindi niya aaminin yan dahil napapabalitang tatanggap siya ng isang pwesto sa ibang bansa at yung pwesto na yun ay sa isang malakiing organisasyon na ang reputasyon ay mga kaaya-ayang miembro ng lipunan at maraming natutulungan," she said.
"Kung siya'y aamin sa ganyang klaseng transaksyon o meron siyang moral na involvement, baka hindi siya matanggap sa ganung trabaho na yun. Yun lang ang iniisip ko na dahilan kung bakit ayaw niyang aminin yun," she added.
One of the values of Jaycees is that "earth's great treasure lies in human personality."
Cunanan, a provisional state witness in the pork barrel scam, denied on Thursday that he received P960,000 in cash during a visit to the JLN Group of Companies office in Discovery Suites, Pasig City.
This is despite the testimony of pork scam whistle-blower Benhur Luy that he saw Cunanan carrying a paper bag where he personally placed the P960,000 cash.
Cunanan is the first sitting government official implicated in the scam to testify on how Senators Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada and Juan Ponce Enrile funneled their pork barrel funds to Janet Lim Napoles.
Science and Technology Secretary Mario Montejo earlier confirmed that Cunanan is resigning from the TRC and flying to St. Louis, Missouri after being appointed secretary general of the Junior Chamber International (JCI).
Poe noted that Cunanan would not directly confirm if he has ever gone to the JLN office at Discovery Suites or had met Mrs. Napoles in her office.
"Ang sagot niya: 'Hindi ko matandaan e.' Para bang mahirap kasi kapag ganun ang sagot, talagang magdududa ka na," she said.
She also said that Cunanan seemed to be dealing in half-truths when he said that he played a "perfunctory and ministerial" function in the approval of the pork barrel projects.
The senator said the last thing government should be doing is accepting state witnesses who would contradict the testimonies of other state witnesses.
"Ayaw natin mahaluan ng kawatan," she said, noting that aside from receiving immunity from suit, they are also provided security, health insurance, free education for their children until college, and death benefits.
She said that unlike socialite Ruby Tuason who also testified in the scam, Cunanan had denied any wrongdoing and will not return any money to the government since he denied receiving any.