‘Agents’ played big part in pork barrel scam

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According to the affidavit of Janet Lim Napoles given to former senator Panfilo Lacson, the priority development assistance fund (PDAF) or pork barrel operations started through negotiations with different “agents” or representatives of lawmakers.

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According to her, agents would approach her and inform her of funds at the disposal of certain senators or congressmen. During the negotiations, they will discuss the amount that will be released by a lawmaker and the demanded commission.

If Napoles refused the commission being asked, the agents would just look for other operators who are willing to accept their offer.

Among the so-called agents she transacted with were Ruby Tuason, Maya Santos, Matt Ranillo, Patricia Tan, Jen Corpuz and Allan Ruste, to name a few.

There were even times when lawmakers asked her to advance part of their commissions because they needed the money, to which she always acceded.

After the advance payment, the lawmakers will then send a request for appropriation or allotment with the Senate finance committee. The latter will then submit the request for appropriation to the Department of Budget and Management (DBM), which would in turn prepare the special allotment release order (SARO).

Napoles will then ask for copies of the documents pertaining to the requests for appropriation or allotment made by the lawmakers as proof that they have been forwarded to the DBM. The full commission of the lawmakers will be released only after the SARO is released.

The released SARO will then go to the chosen implementing agency like the Technological Resource Center (TRC); National Livelihood Development Corp. (NLDC) National Agribusiness Corp. (Nabcor); Department of Agriculture (DA) or the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR).

The implementing agencies or IAs will then choose the NGOs that will implement the project, according to the affidavit.

“Under the Commission on Audit (COA) rules, there is no specific law that governs the NGOs, there are only guidelines with respect to the foundations/NGOs concerned. The COA guidelines are not clear,” the unsigned affidavit stated.

Upon receipt of the SARO by the IAs, a memorandum of agreement will be signed between the concerned lawmaker and the head of the agency and the representative of an NGO and it will be up to the Napoles group to follow up the release of the fund.

Napoles said the main reason why her NGOs were often chosen is that they can give 50 percent commission.

She included in her affidavit transactions made by some lawmakers and their respective commissions as well as the kickbacks of their agents and heads of the agencies involved in the transactions.

Senate Minority Leader Juan Ponce Enrile, according to Napoles, had at least six transactions amounting to more than P100 million; five transactions for Sen. Ramon Revilla Jr. that also amounted to more than P100 million; and seven transactions for Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, also amounting to more than P100 million.

“I regret that at this point, my affidavit was not notarized as required by the rules because of lack of an authorized subscribing officer who will conduct the subscription and swearing in for my affidavit,” she said in her affidavit, which she did not sign.

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