Aquino says alleged 'pork' scam links 'very absurd'


Posted at May 24 2017 01:41 PM

MANILA - Former President Benigno Aquino III on Wednesday dismissed as "very absurd" allegations linking him to the alleged misuse of congressional funds.

Aquino said he could not have received "pork barrel" kickbacks since he was with the opposition bloc when the scam was in place, allegedly with aid from businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

"Napaka-absurdo (very absurd)," Aquino told reporters.

Aquino said Napoles, who is on trial for graft, should not be allowed to turn state witness.

"Itong taong ito (ang) nasa gitna. Siya 'yung nagcoordinate noong mga kontsabahan kung paano mangayayari yung PDAF scam so parang ang hirap intidihin paano siya magiging state witness," Aquino said.

(This person was at the center. She coordinated the PDAF scam so it's hard to understand why she can be state witness.)

Napoles' lawyer Stephen David had accused Aquino's former budget secretary, Florencio Abad, of coaching his client. Abad denied the charge.