MANILA - Senate Majority Floor Leader Alan Peter Cayetano on Friday denied a newspaper report linking him to the pork barrel scam, saying that he did not channel any public fund or part of his pork barrel allocation to fake non-government organizations (NGOs) linked to Janet Napoles.
Cayetano said he has placed his pork barrel with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and hospitals for medical assistance.
He said that he has long authorized the Commission on Audit to scrutinize how he has used funds allocated to his office and release documents to the public.
"Wala kaming tinatago and we have nothing to do with the Napoles foundations. The pork barrel na ginamit ng opisina namin went to the DSWD and went to medical assistance, deretso sa mga ospital. So open book 'yan, may paper trail," Cayetano said.
"Hundred percent, I can look people in the eye and say 'pag may katotohanan ang allegation na I had anything to do with the NGOs of Napoles or any kind of fake NGOs, hindi lang ako magre-resign, ako pa ang magsasabi sa Ombudsman na kasuhan na ako."
Cayetano said Napoles never approached him to ask for access to his PDAF or budgetary insertions.
ATTACK ON JINGGOY-BINAY CRITIC?
He described the attempt to link him to the scam as black propaganda to "muddle the issue."
He said that he would not know who is behind this but believes that it is a form of retaliation for his criticisms against the camp of Vice President Jejomar Binay and Senator Jinggoy Estrada.
Estrada, he said, is close to the The Daily Tribune that published the story.
"I don't blame the Tribune as a newspaper for that but in the sense that they have been critical of me for the last month, hindi ko rin maaano na this has something to do with me being hard on Senator Jinggoy and on Vice [President Binay]. I mean, sino ba ang makikinabang sa lahat ng 'to? 'Di ba si Vice President Binay din? Siya naman ang soft sa corruption sa iba, pero mga katropa niya ang nagbabatuhan at accused dito," Cayetano said.
Cayetano again urged Justice Secretary Leila de Lima and former Senator Ping Lacson to release the names said to be mentioned by Napoles as having pocketed kickbacks from their respective PDAF allocations.
This, he said, will give the concerned senators the chance to respond officially.
He also urged his colleagues in the Senate to call for a hearing and invite Napoles back or risk turning the controversy to a "royal rumble."
"Whether you call it a royal rumble or a battle royale, ano 'to, everyone for himself. So parang pinasok mo sa wrestling, lahat sa ring, tapos sinampal mo, i-blindfold mo sila, sinampal, so ang gustong mag-manipulate ng sitwasyon na ito, gusto royal rumble talaga. Gusto magsampalan, magsigawan. That's why I'm asking Secretary de Lima and of course mga colleague ko sa Senate, let's put some professionalism, let's put some order into this and you can only do that kung may hearing at covered ng media," he said.