Cunanan invited to pork scam hearing


Posted at Feb 25 2014 05:01 PM | Updated as of Feb 26 2014 01:01 AM

MANILA - The chairman of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee is inviting Technology Resource Center head and provisional state witness Dennis Cunanan to the panel's investigation on the P10 billion pork barrel scam.

Sen. Teofisto "TG" Guingona III said he is inviting Cunanan to appear in the next Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on March 6, Thursday.

He said he has already coordinated with Justice Secretary Leila de Lima about Cunanan's appearance in the Senate investigation.

"He is under the Witness Protection Program so he is sure to come...Willing na willing na dalhin nila on Thursday," he said.

Guingona said he could not say yet if he will invite other pork scam whistle-blowers to appear in the next hearing to corroborate Cunanan's testimony.

He also confirmed that it is not the first time that Cunanan was summoned by the committee.

"Yes, pangalawang beses. Madami kasing imbitado noon . Hindi nagkaroon ng sufficient time to call him," he said.

Guingona said he will take into account Sen. Bong Revilla's statement that the Senate check if Cunanan was lying.

Cunanan earlier executed a 36-page affidavit with the Office of the Ombudsman, directly implicating co-respondents Sen. Bong Revilla and Sen. Jinggoy Estrada to the scam, and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, allegedly through his former chief of staff, Atty. Gigi Reyes, in the pork barrel scam.

Cunanan was Deputy Director General of the Technology Livelihood Resource Center (TLRC), now TRC, from 2004 up to 2010. The charges against the three senators covered their Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) allocations for 2007 to 2009, based on a Commission on Audit (COA) report.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said Cunanan claims that Revilla, Estrada, and Enrille channeled portions of the their PDAF specifically to non-government organizations linked to businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.

Cunanan claimed he was even "pressured" and "admonished" by Revilla and Estrada via phone to release the funds for the Napoles NGO's. This allegedly took place when he would call their offices in the Senate to confirm the endorsement letters and signatures.

"Both Senators Revilla and Estrada insisted that the TRC should honor their choice of the NGO, which they selected to implement the projects, since the projects were funded from their PDAF. They both asked me to ensure that TRC would immediately act on and approve their respective projects.

"I was certain I was talking to said Senators because I recognized their respective voices, which I am familiar with since they were both actors and public personalities whose voices I have frequently heard and I am very familiar with," Cunanan said on page 5 of his affidavit.