‘Enrile not scam brains’
JANET Lim Napoles, not Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, was the mastermind behind the P10 billion pork barrel scam, a reliable source at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said Tuesday.
The assertion was supported by the lawyer of the whistleblowers.
In an interview, the source told the Manila Standard that there were no indications that Enrile could have orchestrated the scam in which lawmakers allegedly channeled their pork barrel to ghost projects in exchange for kickbacks from Napoles.
“Based on the testimonies of all the whistleblowers and the voluminous documents gathered by the NBI, there is no such thing as Enrile having masterminded the pork barrel scam,” said the source.
In fact, the source said Enrile had no direct link to the anomaly, and it was Napoles who was the mastermind.
“There was nobody higher than Napoles if we are to base our conclusion on the sworn statements of all the witnesses and the documentary evidence that we forwarded to the Office of the Ombudsman,” said the source.
Earlier, a newspaper (not the Manila Standard) published a front page report saying that a team of investigators from the Office of the Ombudsman had sent an eight-page memo to Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales, saying that Enrile was “unseen hand directing the compass and the tempo of the whole orchestra.”
Morales denied the existence of such a memo.
Enrile, who has maintained his innocence, branded the story as “a blatant lie.”
“These are all lies. I can prove this in court,” he said, referring to a plunder complaint filed against him and two other opposition senators, Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., in connection with the pork barrel scam.
Enrile said he would deliver a privilege speech today, but refused to say what it would be about.
The lawyer for the pork barrel scam whistleblowers, Levi Baligod, supported the NBI view that Napoles was the mastermind, and that nobody dictated upon her.
Baligod said the scam was a conspiracy of the three parties—Napoles, the lawmakers and the implementing government agencies.
At a public forum Tuesday, Baligod said he did not believe Enrile was the “unseen hand” in the pork barrel scam.
He also said that Enrile had nothing to do with the pork barrel allotments of the other legislators who were alleged to have dealt with Napoles.
“The names of Senators Jinggoy and Bong [Revilla] first surfaced as we were conducting our investigation. The name of Enrile cropped up later,” the NBI source told the Manila Standard.
Enrile’s lawyers on Monday said they were concerned with content of the supposed memo that named Enrile as the mastermind.
“Whether existent or not, the mention of the supposed memo has already created tremendous prejudicial publicity against Senator Enrile,” the lawyers said.