Loren Legarda and Janet Napoles. Composite Image
MANILA - Sen. Loren Legarda is not keeping quiet about allegations that she benefited from the pork barrel scam of Janet Lim Napoles.
In a statement, Legarda denounced as a "perjured lie" any statement in any affidavit that says she received pork barrel kickbacks from Mrs. Napoles or that she had authorized anyone to receive kickbacks on her behalf.
"I categorically deny, in the strongest terms, allegations that I had any dealings with Ms. Napoles or any of her group. I have never dealt with them and have never even heard of their foundations. Above all, I have never received monetary or any form of illegal benefit from my PDAF or its equivalent at any time. I have never authorized anyone in my staff or outside of my office to transact with anyone," she said.
Legarda said she allocated her priority development assistance funds (PDAF) to accredited government agencies and local government units as prescribed by law.
She said she allocated P150 million for the construction of 300 classrooms, and gave more funds for "financial assistance to indigents during disasters through DSWD, the National Museum's Hibla and Baybayin galleries, medical assistance in Philippine General Hospital and other government hospitals, scholarships in SUCs, livelihood assistance to schools of living traditions of indigenous peoples, financial assistance to farmers and rural folks, among many others."
The senator said she has never endorsed any non-government organization to benefit from her PDAF.
"Any statement to the contrary contained in any affidavit is a perjured lie and is actionable criminally against those involved in this smear campaign," she said.
Napoles is accused of conniving with lawmakers and government officials to funnel billions of pesos in PDAF to fake NGOs she set up. At least three senators are now facing plunder charges before the Ombudsman for allegedly benefiting from the scam.