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Whistleblower Luy provides NBI with details on 'pork barrel' scam


Whistleblower Benhur Luy on Wednesday dropped by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to give Special Allotment Release Order (SARO) numbers to prove that money being used by his supposed employer, businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, came from lawmakers' "pork barrel."
 
Luy's lawyer Levito Baligod told reporters his client visited the NBI along with fellow "whistleblower" Merlina Sunas, who were both summoned by the NBI for the agency's ongoing investigation on the supposed P15 billion "pork barrel" scam that involved using Priority Development Assistance Funds for non-existent projects.
 
"Idinetalye nila ang financial transaction ng foundations. Sasabihin nila ang SARO number at kung saan mula ang pondo at kaninong PDAF iyan," Baligod said.
 
Baligod claimed that several SAROs indicated funds came from the controversial Malampaya funds. "Ang pagkakaalam ko sa Malampaya funds ang isang foundation received 60 to 75 million," he said.
 
He added at least 12 foundations received money from the Malampaya funds.
 
Baligod said his camp considered the SARO numbers provided by Luy as strong evidence against Napoles. "Nakalagay kasi sa SARO kung kaninong PDAF at kaninong congressman iyan at saan napunta ang pondo," he said.

SARO
 
According to the Commission on Audit, a SARO is a "specific authority issued to one or more identified agencies to incur obligations not exceeding a given amount during a specified period for the purpose indicated." 
 
"It shall cover expenditures the release of which is subject to compliance with specific laws or regulations or are subject to separate approval or clearance by competent authority," COA added.
 
Apart from SARO numbers, Luy also gave investigators a list of lawmakers where the questionable pork barrel funds supposedly came from.
 
Several senators and congressmen have been implicated in the controversy as being the source of the questionable PDAFs. Baligod, however, clarified that their camp was not singling out particular political parties as being involved in the pork barrel scam.
 
"Kami po, iyong whistleblowers ay hindi nila tintintign kung miyembro ng Liberal Party, Nacionalista o anumang party. Ang nilalahad lang nila ay ang laman ng dokumento," he said.
 
Baligo claimed that a foundation under Napoles is still currently "implementing" a supposed project through a P65-million fund coursed through the Department of Agriculture's Office of the Secretary.
 
Baligod said NBI investigators also quizzed Luy and Sunas on how Napoles solicited money from lawmakers through several foundations, two of which Luy and Sunas were made as presidents.
 
"In the form of question and answer. Gusto lang malaman ng NBI, ano ang role nila sa foundation nila. Dinetalye nila kung paano nakukuha ang pondo sa gobyerno. At kung natanggap na ang pondo, saan nila ito dinadala tapos iwi-wthdraw nila ito," he said.
 
Baligod said Napoles named Luy as president of of the Social Development Program for Farmers Foundation, while Sunas was made to appear as president of the Peoples Organization for Progess and Development Foundation.
 
Baligod clarified that the NBI summoned Luy and Sunas not as witnesses but as respondents in the multi-billion peso pork barrel scam.
 
"Iniimbestigahan sila bilang respondents ng mga foundations. Pero later on, we will apply for them to be qualified as state witnesses," he added.
 
Luy is currently "provisionally" covered by the Witness Protection Program. He will receive full coverage after the WPP office finishes processing the required documents he submitted for inclusion in the program.
 
"Hopefully within this week, makapagbigay na ang WPP ng communication that Benhur is now under full protective custody of the WPP," the lawyer said. — RSJ, GMA News
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