MANILA - Budget Secretary Butch Abad denied Thursday that he had secret meetings with Janet Lim Napoles at EDSA Shangri-la and Cravings-Katipunan where he supposedly tutored Napoles about the pork barrel scam.
In her affidavit, Napoles claimed she met Abad in the year 2000 where she was shown a special allotment release order for a 10-million-peso project with the Batanes Electric Cooperative as the implementing arm.
In an interview on ANC, Abad said the meetings never took place. He added that since it would be his word against Napoles, he personally asked the National Electrification Administration and the Batanes Electric Cooperative for a 10-million-peso project which Napoles could have referred to but no such project exists.
"I checked our DBM files, both PDAF allocation and otherwise. There was no 10 million project. The next possible source of funding was the National Electrification Administration. In 2000, did we ever have a project that has the amount of 10 million? After searching for 3 hours, there was none...Everything hinges on this project, the meeting at Cravings, EDSA Shangri-la, all of that is now part of this big lie," he said.
Abad said though Napoles supposedly lied about his connection to the scam, she did not necessarily lie about the transactions of lawmakers previously implicated by other whistle-blowers.
"The big difference is corroboration because this is just an affidavit, hearsay. It has to be supported by evidence."