Says willing to sign bank secrecy waiver, undergo lifestyle check
MANILA - "I have nothing to hide, I am willing to go further."
On-leave Technology Resource Center (TRC) Director General and pork scam case respondent-turned-state-witness-applicant Dennis Cunanan expressed willingness to sign a waiver on the secrecy of his bank accounts if only to prove that he did not benefit from the multi-billion peso scam involving the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) of several lawmakers.
In a statement released by his lawyer, Atty. Odessa Bernardo, Cunanan said he was willing to subject himself to an "unqualified lifestyle check."
Sen. Grace Poe urged the Department of Justice (DOJ) to subject Cunanan, and future state witness applicants in corruption cases involving public officials, to a lifestyle check in order to carefully vet them.
"In order to put to rest any doubts about my claim that I did not receive any monetary benefits from the perpetrators of the PDAF scam, I hereby state my unqualified willingness and readiness to undergo a lifestyle check by the Department of Justice.
"In fact, to show that I have nothing to hide, I am willing to go further and I hereby state my willingness to sign a waiver of the bank secrecy law to allow the DOJ to go through all of my bank accounts should it find the same necessary in the course of their lifestyle check on my person," Cunanan said.
INSTITUTED REFORMS AT TRC
Cunanan stressed that he was not yet the top-most TRC official between 2007 and 2009, the years for which he and several others, including Senators Bong Revilla, Jinggoy Estrada, and Juan Ponce Enrile and alleged "pork" scam brains Janet Lim Napoles, are charged before the Office of the Ombudsman for the pork barrel scam.
He was then Deputy Director General; when he was appointed TRC chief in 2010, the agency started instituting policy reforms which included banning Napoles-related NGOs as beneficiaries of lawmakers' PDAF due to liquidation issues.
"[A]s early as in July 2010, TRC management under my watch blacklisted and banned some 47 non-government organizations and a couple of local government units (LGUs) which failed to liquidate their accountabilities and/or settled their deficiencies with TRC, including all the NGOs identified with Mrs. Janet Lim-Napoles.
"I believe this action of the TRC management under my leadership, more than anything else, is enough to dispel any claims, suggestions or suspicion that I directly or indirectly benefited from the PDAF scam," Cunanan said.
Cunanan has been admitted into the DOJ Witness Protection Program (WPP), with Justice Secretary Leila De Lima saying his testimony is vital to paint the true and complete picture of the scam.
In a 36-page affidavit submitted to the Ombudsman last Friday, Cunanan claimed that Revilla, Estrada, and Enrile, through his former chief of staff Gigi Reyes, and several congressmen, endorsed NGOs linked to Napoles as beneficiaries of their PDAF.
Revilla and Estrada even "pressured" him to fastrack the release of the funds, Cunanan said.