MANILA -- Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. maintained that his signatures in documents approving the release of his pork barrel funds to fake non-government organizations (NGOs) of Janet Lim Napoles were only forged, contrary to the claim of Technology Resource Center (TRC) director Dennis Cunanan.
Revilla's counsel, Joel Bodegon, said the senator does not even personally know Cunanan.
"Hindi kilala ni Sen. Revilla si Cunanan at walang dahilan para kausapin siya. In the first place, palsipikado yung mga dokumento, pineke niya signature ni Sen. Bong and his staff. Di authorized so paano malalaman ni Bong yun?" he said in a statement.
Revilla is one of the three senators facing plunder charges before the Office of the Ombudsman in connection with the multibillion-peso pork barrel scam.
Justice Secretary Leila De Lima on Friday announced that Cunanan, also an accused in the pork barrel scam, has been accepted provisionally in the Witness Protection Program.
She said Cunanan flatly denied claims by senators implicated in the case that they had no hand in the scam and that their signatures in documents for the release of their pork funds were forged.
Cunanan also revealed that senators even personally handpicked and endorsed Napoles-linked NGOs as project implementors, she said.
De Lima noted that this is the first time someone from an implementing agency came forward to testify on the pork barrel scam.
Bodegon, however, said the whistleblowers' lawyer Levito Baligod is just desperate to pin them down in the anomaly.
"We will oppose na tanggapin siyang state witness. Hindi dapat paniwalaan yan. Desperado sina Atty. [Levito] Baligod, we are amused by their statements," he said.
He also urged the DOJ to conduct a lifestyle check on Cunanan. "Lalabas na kumita siya dito. Based on our reports, he travels and spends lavishly abroad," he said.
Bodegon also slammed De Lima for allegedly being "impartial" in their probe in the pork barrel scam.
"DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima made a mistake. She has no business extending immunity to people charged with plunder. She has become impartial in her efforts to crucify Sen. Revilla," he said. -- Report from Mario Dumaual, ABS-CBN News