Company linked to PDAF scam did not have biz permit: official

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 23 2023 05:59 PM

A Manila Bureau of Permits official testified Thursday before the Sandiganbayan 3rd Division that a company linked to the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) scam did not have a business permit.

Government prosecutors presented administrative services officer-in-charge Katrina Abad during the hearing for the graft cases of former senator and now Presidential Legal Counsel Juan Ponce Enrile.

Abad testified on two certifications made by her office, one by herself and another by former officer-in-charge Victoria Sto. Domingo, that Nutri-Growth Philippines, Inc., supposedly located on Instruccion Street, was not registered in the City of Manila.

“So, all addresses where business permits were issued to a particular business entity will appear in your database, not necessarily in the address that is requested for you to check in your database,” Associate Justice Bernelito Fernandez asked.

Abad replied, affirming Fernandez's query.

Upon checking by Abad and Sto. Domingo, the company did not have a business permit from the City of Manila from 2004-2011, the time material to the PDAF cases.

During Abad’s cross-examination by the lawyer of Enrile’s co-accused Janet Lim Napoles, Atty. Ronnie Garay, Abad admitted that she only checked their database and not the physical records.

And when Garay asked the official if they compared their database with the physical records, Abad said that they didn't.

Upon further questioning by Fernandez, Abad said that the physical records of their office are disposed after one year.

Enrile’s co-accused, his former chief of staff Atty. Gigi Reyes, was present during the hearing.

Reyes was released from jail last month after the Supreme Court granted her petition for habeas corpus, on the condition that she attends all her PDAF hearings.


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