MANILA - Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr. dismissed allegations of showbiz writer and talk show host Lolit Solis that he asked campaign money for President Benigno Aquino III from businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, who is now embroiled in the pork barrel scam.
“The statements of Ms. Solis are hearsay, and the Executive Secretary has chosen not to dignify these with a response,” Assistant Secretary Jed M. Eva III said on Wednesday.
Solis was interviewed over at radio dzBB, claiming that she heard Napoles talk on the phone with a certain “Jojo”.
“Magkasama kami ni Jenny (Janet Napoles) that time may kausap siya sa phone parang nanghihingi ng pera,” Lolit told radio hosts Arnold Clavio and Lala Roque.
Prodded by Clavio if it was Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada, she said: “Jojo Ochoa.”
She said she was not sure which Jojo was on the other line, but Napoles supposedly told her it was Jojo Ochoa.
Solis also alleged she heard Napoles tell the person, “O sige-sige papadala ko dyan, Jojo.”
Asked how she had the impression it was money, Solis said: “Sabi niya [Napoles], kasi may kailangang pondo.”
She said the incident happened during Christmas time, months before the 2013 elections.
Asked how she remembered Ochoa’s name, Solis said: “Kasi Jojo. Tsaka noon kasi nachichismis si Jojo Ochoa kay Vina Morales.”
The actress’ name was earlier linked to Ochoa. Both denied the allegations.
Solis also supposedly alleged that there were others who had asked funds from Napoles.
She remembered asking Napoles who were those asking for money.
“Sabi niya, ‘Pare-pareho lang sila, pag sa gitna, e di dalawa na lang yung susuportahan mo, bibigyan mo pa rin pero mas maliit na sa binigay mo sa dalawa pero sa talagang patapos na, bibigyan mo nalang yung isa tapos yung dalawa medyo tinataguan mo na.’”
She said she knew Napoles as Jenny, and not as Janet. “Nalaman ko nga lang na Janet nung kasal ni Shalani dahil nakita ko sa imbitasyon eh.”
Congressman Roman Romulo earlier admitted Napoles was a principal sponsor in his wedding with former Valenzuela Councilor Shalani Soledad. He insisted, however, they have no dealings with Napoles. -- with a report from Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News