MANILA - Why didn't you sue your own chief of staff?
Senate Majority Leader Alan Peter Cayetano posed this question to Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile after the latter said he did not authorize his former chief of staff, Gigi Reyes, to deal with alleged pork scam architect Janet Lim Napoles.
Enrile and two other senators are facing charges over their alleged links to the pork scam, which saw billions of pesos in Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) being funneled to ghost projects of Napoles NGOs.
The Commission on Audit earlier said at least P2.157 billion in PDAF were coursed through Napoles NGOs from 2007-2009.
Enrile earlier said he did not authorize Reyes to discuss pork barrel transactions with Napoles or socialite Ruby Tuason on his behalf. He denied receiving pork barrel kickbacks from Tuason.
In an interview, Enrile maintained that he never received government funds from Tuason through Reyes.
“Pork barrel funds? Walang ibinibigay sa akin na pork barrel funds. Kickback? I don't know. I do not live with Mrs. Reyes. I do not live in her house,” the senator told reporters.
He added that he is confident Reyes will not further implicate him in the alleged anomaly. He said as far as he knows, his former chief-of-staff never received kickbacks from pork barrel transactions.
Cayetano, however, said there are documents to show that Enrile authorized Reyes and deputy chief of staff Jose Evangelista to sign his PDAF papers on his behalf.
Reyes and Evangelista were implicated by Ruby Tuason during the last hearing of the Blue Ribbon panel on the pork barrel scam.
"Bakit hindi pa kinakasuhan ni Sen. Enrile 'yung mga empleyado niya? If I found out na may kalokohan sa opisina ko, I have two choices lang: I fire them and file a case or i-coddle ko sila at itago," Cayetano said.
Cayetano said he came out with the documents amid discussions on the failure of Tuason to directly link Enrile to the pork barrel scam.
"I brought this out to prove na hindi naman palaging kailangan testimony [to link anyone to the controversy]," he said.
He also chided Enrile's statement that the minority leader will be facing the allegations of his participation in the pork barrel scam once they are filed in court.
"He's a public servant. He owes it to the public, all of us owe it to the public to explain," he said.