Santiago undaunted but furious to be in the List
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago is firm in her innocence in the PDAF scam despite being named by Rehabilitation Secretary Lacson and whistleblower Benhur Luy in the lists that have been made public.
In a radio interview yesterday, Santiago said her being dragged into the controversy is the work of her enemy, whom she said ‘has always wanted to kill me with his bare hands.
‘…noon pa, gusto na akong tirisin ng taong ‘yun. Unfortunately for him, I have nine lives.’
She believed that only one enemy could do this to her, because ‘kung hindi ‘yan galit sa akin, bakit nya ako ilalagay ng walang rason?’
She said that the lists that named her were unbelievable: ‘Pinapanindigan ko na wala akong kinalaman dyan.’ But aside from her innocence, another reason that made the lists suspicious was the fact that it named former Senator Manny Villar and his wife Senator Cynthia Villar as beneficiaries of the scam.
Santiago wondered that since the Villars were ‘some of the richest people in the entire Philippines, bakit sila magki-kickback sa maliliit na bagay na ‘yan? Barya lang nila ‘yan.’
The lists being referred to in the interview were Lacson’s copy of Jimmy Napoles’ list and broadsheet Inquirer’s list from Janet Lim-Napoles’ ex-finance officer Benhur Luy.
The senator directly denounced whistleblower Benhur Luy’s list as ‘fake’ and ‘classic case of muddying the water.’ However, the said list is also the most extensive so far out of all the evidences that describe Janet Lim-Napoles’ mode of operation.
The Inquirer revealed in an article today that Napoles’ agents pocketed a total of Php100m for serving as a bridge for Napoles and the politicians. Based on their research of Benhur Luy’s digital files, the broadsheet found out that agents received a 2% commission for every PDAF transaction they completed for Napoles.
According to the files, Santiago used current Energy Regulatory Commission Chair Zenaida Ducut as her agent in her transaction with Napoles in 2005. Ducut reportedly earned Php2.5m rebate for her involvement.
Other agents who have benefitted from the PDAF scam include:
- Napoles’ lawyers Freddie Villamor and Tet de Joya for dealing with Jinggoy and Loi Ejercito Estrada
- Ex-Social Secretary of Malacañang and state witness Ruby Tuason for Juan Ponce Enrile, Jinggoy Estrada and Edgardo Angara
- Tuason’s husband and former Head of Philippine Sports Commission Butch Tuason for Enrile
- Former Anti-Poverty Commission Undersecretary Catherine Mae ‘Maya’ Santos for Rodolfo Biazon
- Vicente Sotto’s staff Jen Corpus
- Mayor Rabang of Umingan, Pangasinan for Pimentel
- Estrada’s staff Pauline Labayen
- Former Department of Agriculture official Ophelia Agawin for Enrile, Loi Ejercito and Biazon
- Ramon Revilla Junior’s political officer Richard Cambe
- Mayor Fermo Armendarez for Biazon
Luy described an agent of Napoles as someone ‘who is well connected’ and that the primary requirement to be one was to have the ability to make the lawmakers ‘allocate funds to [Napoles’] controlled organisations.’