Lawyer Jessica “Gigi” Reyes should return the money her former boss, Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, supposedly “stole” and “turn the tables” on him.
This was the challenge made by Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago to Reyes, Enrile’s former chief-of-staff, during a Senate blue ribbon hearing on the alleged pork barrel scam on Thursday.
“Attorney Gigi, return the money that Enrile stole because I am sure that Attorney Gigi is in charge of the safekeeping of these illegitimate funds abroad,” Santiago said.
MANILA - The principal whistleblower in the “pork barrel scam” cases, Benhur Luy, has dropped Atty. Levito Baligod as his lawyer.
In a one-page letter to Baligod dated March 3, Luy said he came up with the decision because Baligod has been too busy attending to “other advocacies.”
“It has been a rough and rugged road for us, and for all you have done, I am eternally thankful. However, I have noticed you were very busy with your other advocacies that is why I have decided to pursue this journey even without you guiding me. It will not be easy through but this will mutually benefit us in the end.’
MANILA — Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago challenged Senator Jinggoy Estrada to name the senators who he said were also visited by Ruby Tuason in connection with their priority development assistance funds (PDAF).
“It places us all under a cloud,” Santiago said. “If he names it and backed it up with details, it will improve his credibility.”
“I really would like to know, I’m curious by nature,” she added.
MANILA – Alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles is asking the court that she be placed under hospital arrest after she was diagnosed with ovarian tumor.
Napoles’ lawyer Bruce Rivera said Napoles had been complaining of profuse menstrual bleeding.
St. Luke’s Global City endocrinologist Michael Lim Villa, who examined Napoles last December, said Napoles has ovarian tumor. This is based on the businesswoman’s CT scan results.
MANILA — Another respondent in the pork barrel scam case will surface soon to testify against the others who have been implicated in the anomaly, Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said on Tuesday.
Speaking to Lynda Jumilla on ANC’s “Beyond Politics,” De Lima revealed that a male respondent in the case has already sent feelers to the Department of Justice (DOJ) and expressed interest in turning state witness.
The latest to spill the beans on the controversy was former President Estrada’s social secretary Ruby Tuason, who claimed that she personally delivered kickbacks from alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles to Senator Jinggoy Estrada and Senator Juan Ponce Enrile’s chief of staff, Atty. Gigi Reyes.
MANILA – Ruby Tuason, one of the accused in the pork barrel scam who has turned state witness, has identified an alleged Palace connection to the Malampaya fund scam during the Arroyo presidency.
Tuason, who has come out of hiding, said in her sworn statement submitted to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) that alleged pork barrel scam operator Janet Lim Napoles asked her in 2009 if she had connections in Malacañang.
MANILA, Philippines – On Jan 27, 2010, former mayor Bony Tacio of Sablan, Benguet purportedly signed a certificate of project completion from a non-governmental organization (NGO) that showed he received the farm tools and equipment for the farmers affected by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng in 2009.
The money used for the procurement of the farm equipment was sourced from the Malampaya Fund allocation of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). The Fund was intended as relief assistance to farmers affected by the successive natural calamities that struck in 2009.
MANILA – Justice Secretary Leila de Lima denied that resigned Customs commissioner Ruffy Biazon’s name was a last minute addition to the second batch of those charged in connection with the pork barrel scam.
Speaking to reporters, de Lima said Biazon was among those found by the National Bureau of Investigation to have channeled priority development assistance funds to non-government organizations linked to Janet Napoles.
“No there is no such thing ‘yung paghahabol. Nagiging proseso sa NBI is kapag nakukumpleto ‘yung mga dokumento na kailangan, isasama na o kasama na sa batch na ‘yan,” she said.
MANILA – Janet Lim-Napoles, the woman at the center of the multibillion-peso pork barrel scandal that has shaken government, wants people she can control, lawyer Lorna Kapunan said a day after quitting as her counsel.
Kapunan said she has withdrawn as Napoles’ lawyer in all the cases that the businesswoman is facing. These include the serious illegal detention case filed by whistleblower Benhur Luy, as well as the pending plunder charges Napoles and 37 others are facing at the Ombudsman.
Kapunan said her decision is final.
Atty. Lorna Kapunan withdrew as the legal counsel of the alleged pork barrel scam operator Janet Lim Napoles in the illegal detention case filed by whistleblower Benhur Luy.
In an interview with dzMM, Kapunan said she has already informed the court that Atty. Freddie Villamor, who handled the case in the earlier preliminary investigation with Kapunan, will take over the case from now on to speed up the resolution of her petition for bail.
Kapunan said pressure was not a factor in her decision to resign, citing a “difference of opinion on strategy” as the reason behind her move to defer to Villamor.
MANILA — Sen. Jinggoy Estrada said he regrets hurting the feelings of his “kumare,” actress Sharon Cuneta, who cried foul last month over the lawmaker’s privilege speech mentioning her husband, former Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan.
During a media gathering on Tuesday, Estrada said he understands Cuneta’s outburst on micro-blogging site Twitter, where she openly criticized him for supposedly implying Pangilinan had misused government funds.
“Ako naman, kay Mareng Sharon, I understand her feelings. That’s the only regret that I did siguro, hurting the feelings of my kumare,” Estrada said.
“Actually, wala naman akong intensyon na saktan ang damdamin ni Sharon. Mahal ko ‘yun eh,” he said.
In a series of posts on Twitter, which have since been deleted, Cuneta said she would leave her husband if he is proven to have benefited from the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) scam.
Manila – President Benigno Aquino on Wednesday dared critics to impeach him over the controversial Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP) fund, saying he believes he made the right decision in re-aligning the money to spur economic development.
“Isulong nila kung palagay nila tama sila, pero kakabasa ko lang sa Constitution, merong authority sa savings to put to other uses basta nandun sa ating budget. Nakatoka naman ‘yun supposed to be for projects that are already authorized by Congress,” Aquino told reporters after attending the Brotherhood of Christian Business and Professionals’ Grand Breakfast in Pasay City.
Aquino was reacting to comments made by former senator Joker Arroyo and Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago that the DAP releases are illegal and unconstitutional, and could be used as grounds for impeachment.
Noting that he was Senate President during the time bogus non-government organizations (NGOs) of businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles were running the pork barrel operation, Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago said Sen. Juan Ponce Enrile might be the mastermind behind the multi-billion peso scam.
“Enrile has moral ascendancy over his colleagues in the political opposition, namely, Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, Sen. Bong Revilla, and Sen. Gregorio Honasan. They could easily have entered into a conspiracy, just as there appears to have been a conspiracy between Enrile and his ill-starred chief of staff, Atty. Gigi Reyes,” Santiago said in a speech at the Diamond Hotel on Thursday.
Santiago also accused Enrile of being behind Sen. Jinggoy Estrada’s attacks against the Commission on Audit (COA), as well as financing the Zamboanga rebellion, to divert public outrage over his alleged plunder.
Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla has hired a handwriting expert or graphologist to examine the documents which he allegedly signed in relation with the bogus non-government organizations masterminded by Janet Lim-Napoles, his lawyer Atty. Joel Bodegon said.
The handwriting expert should establish whether or not Revilla was the one who signed the documents that link him to the multi-billion pork barrel scam that currently hounds the senator. This type of expertise should also allow a graphologist to analyze the writer’s character.
Revilla is expected to deliver his privilege speech this coming week to belie the accusation against him and explain how he had lawfully and validly used his Priority Development Assistance Fund during the years covered by the special audit report of the Commission on Audit (COA).
Bogedon said Benhur Luy, the key whistleblower in the P10 billion pork barrel scandal, cannot be trusted since he had already admitted that they falsify documents for Napoles.