NGO execs tagged in 'pork scam' surface at NBI

by Jay Ruiz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 30 2013 10:00 PM | Updated as of Oct 01 2019 01:27 PM

'My name and address were used,' says an NGO officer.  'Farmers got nothing.'

MANILA - Some incorporators of dummy organizations allegedly put up by businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles have appeared before the National Bureau of Investigation's (NBI) Special Task Force to clear their names in the P10-billion pork barrel scam.

Of about 6 incorporators, only Juanito Castillo agreed to be interviewed by media.

Castillo, on paper, is vice president of the Kaupdanan para sa Mangunguma Foundation.

His brother-in-law, John Raymond de Asis, is president and alleged driver-bodyguard of Janet Lim Napoles.

"Ginamit lang pangalan ko, pati address ginamit lang nila," he said. "Wala akong kinalaman diyan."

Based on a Commission on Audit (COA) report, the foundation received P75 million from the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) supposedly for farmer- beneficiaries in Pangasinan, Benguet, and Pampanga.

Castillo said not a single centavo went to the farmers.

"Wala akong nakuhang pera dito. Pati beneficiaries, walang nakuha dahil wini-draw nila agad pera. Walang napunta sa mga tao," he revealed.

Kaupdanan is only one of more than 20 foundations and non-government organizations being asked for an explanation by the NBI and COA.

Merlina Suñas, one of six whistleblowers in the scandal, reiterated her claim that only a handful of people pocketed the funds meant for farmers.

Two of Napoles's lawyers also arrived at the NBI to represent her brother, Ronald Francisco Lim, who is president of the Micro Agribusiness Citizens Initiative Foundation.

"We submitted the papers of their foundation," said Atty. Tristan Zuleta.

The primary whistleblower, Benhur Luy, is expected to appear before the NBI either Tuesday night or Wednesday. - ANC