MANILA – Senator Joseph Victor ''JV'' Ejercito denied ever entering into any transaction with alleged pork barrel scam player, businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles.
Ejercito was reacting to his inclusion in the Philippine Daily Inquirer's list of 25 senators who allegedly had transactions with Napoles. The list was supposedly based from the digital files of pork barrel scam whistleblower Benhur Luy.
Ejercito was reported to have allocated P5 million through the Department of the Interior and Local Government during his time as congressman of San Juan in 2011.
Ejercito admitted that he indeed allocated P5 million to DILG in 2011. He said the fund was supposed to be used for the purchase of equipment of barangay watchmen (tanod) in San Juan.
The senator, however, said the project did not push through so he decided to divert the funds to the coffers of the San Juan City government, but the budget was also not used.
''Ang nangyari, for some reason walang naka-comply sa requirements kaya di nagalaw ang pondo. Kaya may sulat ako, nilagay na lang sa city government of San Juan,'' Ejercito told dzMM.
''Pero 'di rin po natuloy ang bidding kaya for two years - standard naman na ang national fund kapag nilagay mo sa LGU (local government unit) at hindi mo nagamit, it will go back to the national treasury. Naibalik ito ng city government of San Juan kamakailan. Hindi ito consummated."
Ejercito said he would not risk his name ''for such a small amount."
''Kung sakaling si Napoles ang nagbibid doon, eh hindi po natuloy ang transaction. Sabi ko iyung P5 million, di ko sisirain ang pangalan ko para sa napakaliit na halaga,'' he said.
The incumbent senator also has this message for his political detractors: ''Kung sino mang makapagpatunay na nagkaroon talaga ng transaksyon - na meron akong pondong inilaan na pumasok kay Napoles - iyung amount na iyon ibibigay ko sa kanya. Ako personal ang magbibigay kung talagang mapapatunayan na merong pumasok."