Dummies for pork: How 'pork scam' worked
MANILA – A businesswoman who owns a trading company allegedly used her employees, including drivers and nannies, to illegally receive government funds from various legislators using dummy foundations, a lawyer said on Monday.
Atty. Levito Baligod, lawyer of the whistle-blowers on the case, said Janet Lim-Napoles, head of JLN Corp., used the dummy foundations in funneling Priority Development Assistance Funds (PDAF), more popularly known as pork barrel funds, to her own pocket.
Baligod said Napoles was able to obtain pork barrel funds by setting up dummy foundations which received allotments from legislators and government agencies.
The report, which was released in parts by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, said about P10 billion in funds had been pocketed by Napoles over the last 10 years. The alleged scam is now the subject of a probe by the National Bureau of Investigation.
Speaking to dzMM, Baligod said employees such as Gertrudes Luy, nanny of Napoles' children; Jesus Castillo; Napoles' driver; Lorna Ramirez, wife of Napoles' former driver; and Vanessa Eman, Napoles' former maid, were made presidents of various dummy foundations.
Some of the fake non-government organization officials were JLN employees.
Baligod said sometimes, an employee would be asked to sign the withdrawal slip for the dummy foundation, usually agriculture in nature which was supposed to help farmer-beneficiaries. The money would allegedly then be remitted to Napoles.
The whistle-blowers alleged Napoles managed to run the illegal scheme for a long time since she was in collusion with lawmakers who agreed to release funds in exchange for a cut.
Apart from the pork barrel funds, the whistle-blowers also revealed that the controversial fertilizer and Malampaya funds were also tapped by the JLN Group of Companies.
"Halimbawa doon sa Malampaya funds, walang kamalay-malay ang mga mayors dahil ipinirma lang nila ang mga mayors. Sila na rin po ang gumawa ng isang letter request na parang nagpapakita na galing sa mayor pero walang alam ang mayor doon," Baligod said.
"Sa kaso ng PDAF, alam nila dahil yung ibang pondo ay dumederecho sa munisipyo. Hindi mababayaran ang foundation kundi alam ng mayor iyan kaya nakiki-coordinate din sila sa mayors," he added.
The whistle-blowers are being led by Benhur Luy, Napoles' distant cousin and a former employee of JLN.
Baligod said Napoles illegally detained Luy after the latter became a threat to her scheme. Luy was eventually rescued last March 22.
"Ang pagkasabi niya sa akin gusto niyang mag-focus sa sarili niyang negosyo sa Zamboanga. Pangalawa, totoong gusto niyang guamwa rin ng ganyang proyekto pero sabi niya ay gusto niyang magkaroon ng deliveries," Baligod said.