MANILA - Retired General Rodolfo Diaz denied allegations that he and lawyer Levito Baligod tried to extort money from alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, as stated in her letter to President Benigno Aquino III.
Napoles accused Diaz and Baligod, the former lawyer of pork scam key whistleblower Benhur Luy, of demanding over P30 million to drop the serious illegal detention charges filed against her.
Diaz, however, told ANC he was only helping out Baligod and his client in withdrawing the money of the Luy family from a firm that was allegedly being prevented by Napoles.
He said there was never any extortion attempt.
"'Meron lang kaming gustong pakausap sayo isang Navy officer na alam kong kilalang-kilala mo' -- I will not mention the name -- 'at pwede mo kausapin. Kasi itong mga client ko gusto nilang mag-withdraw ng pera nila sa Air Material Wing, at hindi sila maka-withdraw. May isang tao na kilala mo rin na hadlang sa pag-withdraw ng pera.' Sinabi sa akin ang pangalan, tinawagan ko, sabi ko: Sir, baka pwede mo ko tulungan dito," Diaz said.
"I was denied, negative, tinawagan ko si Atty. Baligod, sabi ko: Levy, ayaw, wala akong magagawa."
"Pera pala ninyo kako, bakit di kayo maka-withdraw? 'Eh may ayaw pumayag.' Sabi ko sino bang ayaw pumayag? So binanggit niya ang pangalan ni Mrs. Napoles," he added.
In her letter to Aquino last year, Napoles said, "Thereafter, Atty. Levito Baligod, lawyer of the Luy family, together with the retired General Rodolfo Diaz demanded the amount of 38-million pesos from through our lawyer, Atty. Freddie Villamor, in exchange for the dropping of said false charges and bad media publicity."
She said after her camp refused the demand of P38 million, Baligod later on demanded P250 million to P300 million as well as the issuance of Canadian visas for Luy's family members and himself, pocket money of 1.5 million US dollars, and opening of a legitimate pharmaceutical business with a capitalization of P30 million to be given to his youngest sister. -- Report from ANC